Land Conservation Not Responsible For High Cost of Housing

High housing prices cannot be blamed on land conservation efforts, at least not in Silicon Valley, is the word from researchers at Stanford University.
March 13, 2010, 11am PST | Irvin Dawid
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Housing prices are known to be out-of-reach for many in the S.F. Bay Area, especially Silicon Valley, which also has a high amount of land spared from development through conservation efforts including urban growth boundaries.

"Developers have often blamed conservationists for the high costs by arguing that making land off-limits for new construction shrinks the area's housing supply and drives up prices.

But Stanford researchers say that argument holds little water. Only 51,000 more homes (a number equal to 6.5 percent of the 790,000 homes now in Silicon Valley) would have been built in the southern Bay Area's Silicon Valley if land had not been set aside by nonprofit groups and the government, they say.

Researchers for "the university's Bill Lane Center for the American West...analyzed whether land conservation efforts in Silicon Valley – which has about 116,000 acres of protected parks, forests, waterfronts and wildlife refuges have hurt housing development."

Thanks to Jeffrey Rensch

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Published on Wednesday, March 10, 2010 in Stanford University News
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