“Government adds approximately $88,500 to the average cost of each new-built home in the Midwest”


The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) issued a new policy report,Priced Out of House and Home: How Laws and Regulation Add to Housing Prices in WisconsinThe report examines the ways in which government regulation has contributed to the rising cost of home prices in Wisconsin. The report makes recommendations for both state and local policy makers to remove barriers to the development of more affordable market-rate housing. 

The Quote: WILL Policy Director, Kyle Koenen, said, “Arbitrary government regulations that restrict property rights and depress the supply of affordable, market-rate housing options are pricing more and more families out of their version of the American dream. Policymakers at all levels of government should work to remove unnecessary barriers that contribute to the growing costs of homes nationwide.” 

Background: Over the past few years, the rising cost of housing has been a growing concern amongst Americans, particularly those looking to purchase their first home. Fewer Americans believe that now is a good time to buy a home than those who believed this during the Great Recession. Furthermore, a record low number of Americans believe they are ever going to own a home. Historically, low levels of housing inventory suggest that the lack of supply plays a key role in the shortage of affordable market-rate housing options. In a nation where homeownership has historically been one of the primary means of wealth creation for lower- and middle-class families, the increase of people being crowded out of the housing market has the potential to obstruct upward mobility in the long-run.  

This tight supply can be attributed to a number of factors, including the inflation of construction materials and a lack of qualified labor. However, for developers that prepare land for housing and builders that build the homes, government regulations from the local, state and federal level make it more difficult and expensive to develop affordable-market rate housing.