There’s a surprising political issue that both parties can agree on right now.
This issue is reducing the cost of housing.
Even more surprisingly, politicians on both the left and right actually agree about how to attack this issue.
Their main answer is to reform zoning laws. This means eliminating rules limiting the density of housing and requiring mandatory parking.
The argument is that such a regulation restricts the supply of new homes, thereby increasing prices and reducing affordability.
So what does this looming reform mean for you?
Well, if zoning reform is implemented and has the effect that politicians hope, then it might make it more affordable to buy a home. However, there are a couple of questions hanging over this outcome.
First of all, zoning regulation happens on the local, not federal, level. This means that reforms on the federal level can only impact local zoning indirectly—and might not create any change at all.
Second, zoning reform might not actually have the intended consequences.
For example, scientists from MIT looked at zoning reform in Chicago. They concluded that, at least in the first five years, zoning reform had no effect on housing supply. Even worse, zoning reform actually led to an increase in housing prices.
In short, zoning reform seems to be a valiant effort to make housing more affordable, but it’s likely to take a while to achieve any changes. And those changes might not be what politicians are hoping for.
In other words, if you are thinking of entering the real estate market, whether to buy or sell, then don’t hold your breath for the current housing reform.
Instead, we advise you to consider acting now. You see, it’s a particularly favorable moment for real estate.
Right now, buyers can benefit from an unexpected (and probably temporary) drop in mortgage rates, and sellers can benefit from ongoing strong demand around the Durham area.
If you are considering selling, you can get an idea of what your home is worth in the current market with this Durham value calculator:
And if you are thinking of buying a home, take a look at some of the great homes that have recently come onto the Durham market:
Finally, if you have any questions, whether you’re buying, selling, or just want to discuss current real estate conditions, give us a call at (919) 590-5755. We’re here to help.