Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Costs and Benefits of Housing Regulations

Following the earthquake and subsequent aftershocks in China (the latest of which destroyed 420,000 homes), the libertarian in me here is torn. Are higher building standards are worth it? (Adam Smith Institute) On the other hand, if the cost is so much that people are priced out of owning their own homes what's the point? Like I said, I'm torn (then again China, being China, I wonder how "optional" those regulations will end up being). Maybe there's a happy medium - disclosure allowing people to make the choice for themselves. The Manhattan Institute, for instance, estimates that zoning restrictions have an effective cost of up to 50% of the cost of a condo in Manhattan.

No comments: