New Research on the Effects of Market-Rate Development and Upzoning

A glut of new housing and development research has been published recently, shedding new light on some of the most fundamental questions of contemporary planning.

February 19, 2021, 7:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


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JJ Farq / Shutterstock

A new report by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles compiles the relatively small body of recent research about the effects of market-rate development on rents in the surrounding neighborhood.

The report responds to the ongoing debate about the effects of market-rate development. "On one side are those who think new market-rate units — unsubsidized homes whose price often places them beyond the reach of lower- and middle-income households — make nearby housing more affordable by increasing availability and relieving pressure on the existing housing stock." And "An opposing view, however, is that new housing only attracts more wealthy households, brings new amenities to the neighborhood (including the housing itself), and sends a signal to existing landlords that they should raise their rents."

Hat/tip to Michael Lens for sharing the news of the new report on Twitter.

The report helpfully reviews and discusses recent research—six working papers published since 2019—to reveal how much more information is now available on the subject than in the relatively recent past.

The six working papers detailed in the report also have new company, with a trio of research papers published this week on the subject of upzoning. A tweet by Yonah Freemark is spreading news about the new research on social media.

A second tweet by Freemark notes another study from New Zealand published in August 2020.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021 in UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies

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