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The Local Residential Land Use Regulatory Environment Across U.S. Housing Markets: Evidence from a New Wharton Index

Working paper #826
Joseph Gyourko, Jonathan Hartley and Jacob Krimmel
National Bureau of Economic Research

The authors report results from a new survey of local residential land use regulatory regimes for over 2,450 primarily suburban communities across the U.S. The most highly regulated markets are on the two coasts, with the San Francisco and New York City metropolitan areas being the most highly regulated according to our metric. Comparing our new data to that from a previous survey finds that the housing bust associated with the Great Recession did not lead any major market that previously was highly regulated to reverse course and deregulate to any significant extent. Moreover, regulation in most large coastal markets increased over time.

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