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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Is Phoenix an Example of Good Housing Policy?

Is Phoenix an Example of Good Housing Policy?

Sunday, 04 September 2011 07:54

Ryan Avent criticizes the building restrictions in California's coastal cities in arguing for the benefit of increased population density in cities. He contrasts the high house prices in cities like San Francisco and San Jose with Phoenix, which has few restrictions on building.

Phoenix may not be an ideal city for such a comparison. It was one of the cities that was most caught up in the bubble. Five years ago there would not have been anywhere as near as large a difference between house prices in the coastal cities and Phoenix.


Source: Case-Shiller 20 City Index.


It is not clear that the pattern in Phoenix's housing market is one that many cities would want to emulate.

Comments (5)Add Comment
Utter nonsense from the builders (looters)
written by Scott ffolliott, September 04, 2011 9:47
"Ryan Avent criticizes"
This is always the case when some people (that is the builders) benefit from not having regulation. To contrast AZ and CA is a false contrast. We need to have a national housing policy that is based on housing people vs private profit for builders and bankers
More is Less Unless Less is More
written by izzatzo, September 04, 2011 11:03
Exactly. People who vote for zoning regulations designed to keep residential areas less dense are the worse kind of socialists because they hate the economies of scale and scope that make each person cheaper.

Stupid liberals.
Less dense?
written by denise, September 04, 2011 7:42
San Francisco is second only to NY in density, and getting denser every day.
written by jethro, September 04, 2011 9:17
Yeah - government run housing projects are such great places to live and have been a booming success....
Read the book
written by (Not that) Bill O'Reilly, September 04, 2011 11:32
In the kindle single from which that essay is adapted, Mr. Avent argues (disappointingly fleetingly) that the bubble in flexible-housing cities such as Phoenix was driven in part by people being turned away from the San Franciscos and New Yorks of the country. It's hardly a satisfying explanation, and in fact he pays far too little attention to the bubble on the whole, but as in most cases, the arguments are much more compelling when laid out in full rather than condensed for a newspaper article.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.