Monday, May 26, 2008

More suspects

The Economist's (May 10) "Map of Misery" highlights the dramatic county-to-county and state-to-state variations in house price changes. The "bubbly states" were the hardest hit. But Wendell Cox shows practically the same list of the places are the ones with the most restrictive land use controls.

To the long list of the usual suspects (the Fed's easy money, bundling and collateralizing of mortgages, failure of models to price them, eager loan officers to make loans and pass them on, national policy to expand home ownership, careless borrowers, etc.) we have to add all those who thought that tough land use controls and development limits are a good idea and without serious cost and consequences.