Bubbles, Zoning, History

Patri's recent posts on the housing bubble put me in mind of the paper by Gyourko and Glaeser arguing that, within the US at least, the relative heights of housing prices could be explained by the stringency of zoning laws. I wonder if there is a time series anywhere of the nationwide average time to approve a rezoning request, or to get a residential building permit, or some other rough metric of regulatory burden. It would be illuminating to compare that to Shiller's same-house pricing series.

Any data wonks out there are encouraged to comment.

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Nick, No actual data, but


No actual data, but Sam Zell was on Bloomberg TV yesterday and said something like "in 1900, it took 52 days to get all of the necessary permits to build, today, with all of the evironmental issues and regulations, it takes 2 years". I could not find a transcript and also not sure if he was talking about commercial instead of residential real estate, but the trend is probably the same between the two.

Here are a few articles on

Here are a few articles on zoning and housing price.

Economist article about how in the northeast and west coast government permission to build a house accounts for an average of 40% of its value:


Here’s a Harvard study on housing prices and zoning, I believe it was referenced in the Economist article:


Here’s a couple articles about how inclusionary zoning (a price control on a subset of new housing) decreases the overall supply of new housing:


And finally, here’s an article about how the population growth in the south and west:


And here’s an article about how the strongest determinent of whether a state votes red is less housing inflation: