Regulatory costs nearly 25% of a new home’s price

REGULATORY COSTS ACCOUNT FOR NEARLY A QUARTER OF THE PRICE OF A NEW HOME (Source: NAHB)

On average, regulations imposed by all levels of government account for 24.3 percent of the sales price of a new single-family home, according to a new study by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Breaking down the total regulatory costs further, the study revealed that three-fifths of this–14.6 percent of the final house price–is due to a higher price for a finished lot resulting from regulations imposed during the lot’s development. The other two-fifths–9.7 percent of the house price–is the result of costs incurred by the builder after purchasing the finished lot.

While NAHB’s previous regulatory estimates in a 2011 study were fairly similar, the price of new homes increased substantially in the interim. When applying these percentages to Census data on new home prices, the data show an estimate that regulatory costs in an average home built for sale went from $65,224 to $84,671–a 29.8 percent increase during the roughly five-year span between NAHB’s 2011 and 2016 estimates. Meanwhile, disposable income per capita in the U.S. increased 14.4 percent during that same time period, meaning that the average cost of regulation embodied in a new home is rising more than twice as fast as the average American’s ability to pay for it.