Open Access Journal Article

Housing Prices and Land Use Regulations: A Study of 250 Major US Cities

by Theo S. Eicher a,* orcid
Department of Economics, University of Washington, Seattle, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 June 2023 / Accepted: 2 July 2023 / Published: 2 March 2024


Income and population growth are key determinants of housing demand, while land use regulations are designed to affect housing supply. Previous studies of housing price determinants focus either on specific regulations in particular cities/regions, or on selective subsets of major cities and regulations. This study examines the impact of land use regulations on housing prices from 1989 to 2006 in an unusually large sample of 250 major US cities. Aside from factors that are commonly associated with housing demand (income, population growth and density), housing prices are found to be associated with local cost-increasing land use regulations (approval delays) and with statewide regulations. Since statewide regulations factor prominently into the results, specific examples of the impact of different types of land use regulations are provided for 5 cities in the state of Washington. The estimated increase in housing prices associated with regulations is, on average (over 250 cities), substantially larger than the effects of income and population growth. While the estimated dollar costs associated with regulations may be sizable at times, the results are remarkably consistent with previous studies that were based on smaller cross sections.

Copyright: © 2024 by Eicher. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
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Eicher, T. S. Housing Prices and Land Use Regulations: A Study of 250 Major US Cities. Journal of Economic Analysis, 2024, 3, 45.
AMA Style
Eicher T S. Housing Prices and Land Use Regulations: A Study of 250 Major US Cities. Journal of Economic Analysis; 2024, 3(1):45.
Chicago/Turabian Style
Eicher, Theo S. 2024. "Housing Prices and Land Use Regulations: A Study of 250 Major US Cities" Journal of Economic Analysis 3, no.1: 45.
APA style
Eicher, T. S. (2024). Housing Prices and Land Use Regulations: A Study of 250 Major US Cities. Journal of Economic Analysis, 3(1), 45.

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