Over-regulation Drives Housing Prices

After posting about why it’s hard to build starter homes, I found further proof that zoning regulations serve to raise the price of housing. A new study from the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy and St. Anselm College’s Center for Ethics in Society states:

“Widely available measures show that New Hampshire is one of the most restrictive states in the country for residential development,” Sorens wrote. “By suppressing building, land-use regulations drive up the price of housing as demand rises.”

A summary of the research was posted in New Hampshire Bulletin this week. The summary notes:

  • New Hampshire is in the top four states with the highest housing regulation
  • This leads directly to a high cost of living, and a shortage of available homes
  • Many New Hampshire towns have “attempted to freeze themselves in time”
  • By reducing zoning restrictions, New Hampshire could substantially cut the cost of living for thousands of families.

The original report names Lyme, NH as an “especially unaffordable town.”

You can read the full report by Jason Sorens at Residential Building Regulations In New Hampshire: Causes And Consequences He’s the Director, Center for Ethics in Society, Saint Anselm College.


Feel free to share this post on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or email by clicking one of the icons below. Any opinions expressed here are solely my own, and not those of any public body, such as the Lyme Planning Board where I am an alternate member. I would be very interested to hear your thoughts – you can reach me at richb.lyme@gmail.com.

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