Smart Growth Policies Make
Portland Housing Less Affordable
than Los Angeles

The most recent National Association of Home Builders Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) indicates that the Portland area is still suffering the impact of artificial scarcity from its land use policies. In the first quarter of 2000, Portland had an HOI of 32.1, indicating that the median income family in the metropolitan area could afford only 32.1 percent of the homes sold during the period. This is slightly more than one-half the national HOI, which indicates that 62.8 percent of houses are within reach of the median income family.

Among major metropolitan areas (areas with more than 1,000,000 residents) only crowded California areas have lower HOI's than Portland (San Diego and components of the San Francisco Bay area). Portland is now less affordable that historically unaffordable Los Angeles and Orange County. Among non-California metropolitan areas, Seattle was the closest to Portland with an HOI of 47.2, indicating that the median income family could afford 1.5 times as many homes sold in the Seattle area as in Portland.

The artificial scarcity caused by Oregon's draconian land regulations had an impact on smaller areas as well. Among the 184 large and small metropolitan areas surveyed by NAHB, Salem ranked 173 and Eugene ranked 179 (Portland was 174). No other Oregon metropolitan areas were included in the survey. (21 July 2000)

See Also:
NAHB Housing Opportunity Index Ranking: Major Metropolitan Areas: 2000 Quarter 1
NAHB Housing Opportunity Index: Major Metropolitan Areas: 2000 Quarter 1

(c) 2000 --- Wendell Cox Consultancy --- Permission granted to use with attribution.
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