Skip to Content
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Log In
Streetsblog USA

Two Graphs That Illustrate America’s Dysfunctional Housing Market

Jed Kolko, chief economist at real estate information giant Trulia, recently shared these two graphs that give us an interesting glimpse into what's happening in the American housing market.

This first graph shows that housing development is growing fastest in the suburbs. To be precise, the most sprawling, suburban of suburbs.

But that's only part of the story. If you look at where housing prices are rising fastest, the pattern flips. The most urban neighborhoods are where prices are heating up the most.

Chart: Jed Kolko via Twitter
Chart: Jed Kolko via Twitter
Commercial strip along San Antonio Road at Olive Street in Norwalk in 2007 - via Google Street View

What does this tell us? A few things.

As Kolko put it in a follow-up tweet, "limited supply" is "constraining urban growth." It's much, much easier to build new homes in undeveloped greenfields than in central cities, where zoning and NIMBYism prevent housing construction. If we're going to reduce sprawl and make city living affordable, we're going to need to ratchet up housing construction in urban areas.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog Los Angeles

Metro Committee Approves $225M Cost Overrun for Westside Subway Section 1 Construction

Wilshire subway 4-mile extension section 1 (Western to La Cienega) budget swells from from $3.14B to $3.35B. Section construction is 91 percent done, now anticipated to open fall 2025

May 16, 2024

Transit Expert Jarrett Walker has Advice for Los Angeles

Jarrett Walker talks choice riders, all-door boarding, bus lanes, BRT, and making the bus system more legible

May 14, 2024
See all posts