Planetizen - Urban Planning News, Jobs, and Education

Redfin CEO Laments Frustrated Homebuyers, Low Inventory

The U.S. has become a "landlord nation," says Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman. His analysis: fiercely-defended restrictive local zoning laws have cut off supply, dividing those who own from those who rent.
May 30, 2018, 2pm PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

In a call with analysts, Nat Levy writes, Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman lamented America's housing supply problem. "No matter what we do to deliver more value to customers, the fundamental problem is that there aren't enough homes to buy," Kelman said.

Especially in popular coastal markets, "Housing inventory is so low right now that Kelman and Redfin now view availability as the number one driver of the housing market. The stock market, wages, interest rates — none of these metrics matter as much as the fact there are no homes for anyone to buy."

Kelman cites restrictive local zoning as the causal factor here: "These laws, supported on the left and right are fiercely defended by well-meaning neighborhood associations that have sometimes started to act as a cartel to limit housing supply and keep prices high [...]" 

He goes on, "It's these laws, not market forces, that prevent builders from replacing parking lots, stripmalls and single-family homes with affordable high density condos and townhouses."

Share Tweet LinkedIn Email