Microblog #56: Why does only “luxury” housing get built?

Why Do Developers Only Build “Luxury” Housing? It May Not Be As Much of a Choice As You Think.

A recent Strong Towns blog post attempts to answer the age-old question: Why does it seem that all new housing developments are “luxury” when there is such an acute and growing need for more affordable homes?

The author explains five reasons:

  1. Labor and materials for new construction remain expensive.
  2. High demand in low supply areas.
  3. Local land use restrictions on more affordable housing types.
  4. Other costly regulations, like parking minimums.
  5. Limited land available for missing-middle housing.

The post also argues that “luxury” is more often a marketing term than any true descriptor of build quality, especially since material finishes and amenities are often just a small part of total costs.

Do these explanations hold true for housing development in Virginia? Do you agree or disagree with this post? Send your thoughts and comments to admin@housingvirginia.org, and we might share your takes in a future blog.


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