Barriers to Apartment Construction Index
July 2020 Update: In 2020, four cities were recast, mainly due to lack of geographical dispersion of responses in the 2019 survey. See individual market updates below for Boston, Chicago, Portland and Seattle.
Affordability is a complex issue and can be driven by diverse factors including income levels, land and natural resource availability, population growth and housing supply-demand balances, among other issues.
The National Apartment Association conducted a national survey to better understand factors that impact new supply of apartments. The survey measured development complexity including the impact of community involvement, construction costs, affordability issues, infrastructure, density & growth restrictions, land supply, environmental restrictions, approval process complexity, political structure complexity and time to develop a new property.
Metro areas are ranked by relative ease of developing new apartments, however the intent of this study was to provide data to identify differences in land management and to provide a more holistic and fact-based review of best practices and factors that impact housing availability and affordability. The index rankings are not intended to apply judgement as to whether these policies are either good or bad.
Key takeaways from the survey findings:
- In addition to the importance of land availability, input from local citizens significantly influences development.
- Rising land and labor costs are inhibiting the production of affordable housing.
- Complex approval systems are correlated to affordability issues.
We hope this report provides facts and focus for local discussions by rental housing advocates, both public and private. The tide of sustained rental demand and challenges to meet this demand must be addressed by those who can influence policies at the local level with cooperation from residents, policy makers and developers towards mutual goals.
Download the individual reports:
For more information, including background and methodology, please contact Paula Munger, Director of Industry Research & Analysis.