The Impact of Growth Control Regulations on Housing Prices in California
This paper examines the impact of growth controls on the price of new single-family homes. Four types of growth controls are discussed and each is found to have a significantly different impact on housing prices. Regulations that are imposed by one locality only are first compared to those that are imposed by a locality whose neighbors also control growth. In California, increases in house prices in communities with only local growth controls cannot be distinguished from communities that do not control growth. However, the 1969 to 1976 housing price increase in growth control jurisdictions located in extensively regulated housing markets is significantly higher than in local-only or no-control jurisdictions. In addition, controls that restrict the rate of development are compared to those that specify the quality of development. In the extensively regulated San Francisco Bay area, the 1969 to 1976 housing price increase was 35% higher in rate-controlled communities and 20% higher in quality-controlled communities than in no-control communities.