Magazine March 9, 2020, Issue

The Unbuildable American Home

A carpenter works on a new home in Las Vegas, Nev., April 5, 2013. (Steve Marcus/Reuters)
How regulations and land-use restrictions have made it too expensive to build

The United States has developed a split housing market. There are cities where homes have become extremely expensive, and others where home prices have stayed low. Look at it from the perspective of a young family: In the expensive cities, it probably seems as though homes have been spectacular investments for their parents, but now housing is overpriced and makes for a poor investment. In the cheaper cities, it may appear as though their parents’ homes haven’t been such spectacular investments.

So, for those young families, the American dream seems to be a one-time asset bubble. Now it’s done, and all

Something to Consider

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Kevin ErdmannMr. Erdmann is a visiting fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and the author of Shut Out: How a Housing Shortage Caused the Great Recession and Crippled Our Economy.

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


The Week

The Week

It will be something if 2020 ends up being a choice between a crass and vain New York City billionaire with an ugly Twitter habit and Donald Trump.

Column Calumny

When the Trump administration brought back the classical style to federal buildings, the pundit class went from zero to Hitler in record time.


The Latest

Rat Patrol

Rat Patrol

Illegal leaks of classified information should be treated as a serious offense. But they would be easier to prevent if less information were classified.