Discussion Paper

Unlocking Housing Supply: What Can We Learn About Recent Construction and Permitting Patterns in Our Region?

Abstract: Since 2020, housing has become increasingly unaffordable for many families throughout the United States. Nationally, home prices have risen more than 40 percent, on average, and rent has increased by around 22 percent. While heightened demand likely fueled the rapid buildup in home prices since the COVID-19 pandemic, a chronic undersupply of housing from underbuilding in the 2010s also contributes to current housing affordability challenges. Recent rates of new residential construction have varied considerably across communities due in part to differences in the availability and cost of developable land and materials. Local regulatory policies and frameworks, such as land use and zoning laws, environmental regulations, and public participation in the permitting process, also affect the extent to which developers can respond to strong demand for new housing. This post explores the different factors driving recent changes in housing supply across the Fifth District, including how land availability and local regulations play a role in the vastly different housing supply trajectories of two Maryland counties.

Keywords: housing; 5th district; housing construction; Housing Supply;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Part of Series: Regional Matters

Publication Date: 2024-02-14