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Suburban Sprawl May Be The Only Answer To Affordable Housing


Sprawling suburbs keep rents down more than tall towers, according to research released Wednesday.

BuildZoom, a website for contractors, says it’s a losing fight to build towers focused on affordable housing in America’s largest cities, the Wall Street Journal reports. The firm says solving affordability problems depends on building out, not up.

Cities that have increased the pace of housing construction without expanding outward, like Portland and Seattle, have been unable to keep pace with demand as well as cities that embraced suburb sprawl. Portland experienced a 78% price increase from 1980 to 2010 due to inflation-adjusted home values, while in Seattle home values grew 119%. On the other hand, Las Vegas and Atlanta prices climbed only 4.7% and 14%, respectively. [WSJ]