Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The effect of land-use regulations on housing markets: A study of Florida households
by Dowd, Pamela Lynea, Ph.D., The Florida State University, 2012, 158; 3539780
Abstract (Summary)

Over the past decade, there has been significant volatility in the housing market. During the first half of the decade, housing prices increased at an unprecedented rate and homeownership rates reached an all time high. With an unrelenting demand for housing, many multifamily rental units were converted to condominiums and the overall stock of rental units decreased substantially. With the price of rental housing increasing and incomes remaining stagnant, many low- and moderate-income households found themselves struggling to maintain an adequate standard of living. This was magnified during the second half of the decade when the housing and financial credit markets crashed, leading to a parade of foreclosures and ultimately forcing millions of households into the rental housing market. During this same time period, government land-use regulations have increasingly become more restrictive. In theory, government-imposed land use regulations place constraints on how land can be utilized, which limits supply and increases costs. As a result, the cost of housing will increase, placing unnecessary burdens on low- and moderate-income households. Composed of three essays, this dissertation addresses various aspects of how increased regulation affects housing markets.

In the first essay, I review the historical evolution of land use regulations with an emphasis on the regulatory environment in the state of Florida. An exhaustive review of the empirical literature describing the effects of land-use regulations on the housing market and the rental housing market is provided. While variations in magnitude exist, the majority of empirical studies find that increased land use regulations increase housing prices.

The second essay of this dissertation focuses on the determinants of the rental housing market, attempting to examine how the percentage of income a household allocates to rent changes as a result of increased land use regulations. A description of the data used to access the regulatory environment is presented. The regulatory data is then quantified, using four unique econometric methods, and is used to estimate the relationship between the percentage of income that a household spends on rental housing and land use regulations. Results from the empirical models indicate that, consistent with theory, the rent-to-income ratio for renter households increases with more stringent land use regulations.

The third essay investigates the relationship between land use regulations and high-risk loan originations. In order to motivate the empirical analysis, a review of the descriptive and empirical literature surrounding the determinants of subprime lending, the relationship between subprime loans and mortgage default, and housing supply elasticities is presented. After reviewing aggregate trends in income, home prices, loan installments, and foreclosure rates, I lay out the empirical model. The model is then estimated using regulatory and loan data from Jurisdictions in the state of Florida. The empirical model finds that increased regulations may lead to a higher percentage of high risk loan originations.

The final chapter of this dissertation concludes and offers suggestions for future research.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ihlandfeldt, Keith R.
Commitee: Feiock, Richard C., Holcombe, Randall G., Zeuhlke, Thomas W.
School: The Florida State University
Department: Economics
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 74/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Economics, Public administration, Urban planning
Keywords: Housing, Land use, Land use regulations, Regulation, Rent burdened
Publication Number: 3539780
ISBN: 978-1-267-64248-6
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