The Origin Of Sprawl, Ctd

Ryan Avent continues the discussion:

It is clearly true that some people prefer living in low density neighborhoods. Others prefer living in rural settings or small towns. Others prefer living in medium-density walkable areas, and still others like living in high-density neighborhoods with high-rises. It takes all kinds. What is clear from price data, however, is that there is unmet demand for walkable neighborhoods.

Homes in walkable neighborhoods are expensive, and not because those homes cost a lot more to build. Homes in safe walkable neighborhoods are really expensive. And homes in safe, walkable neighborhoods with good schools are mind-blowingly expensive. Some people prefer to live in low-density neighborhoods. Price data suggest that many, many others would love to live in walkable neighborhoods but simply can’t afford to, because it’s difficult to build them. If it weren’t difficult to build them, people would build them, because home prices are well above the cost of construction. This isn’t that hard.