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The Final Report of the Georgia House Study Committee on Workforce Housing

December 5, 2019
By Vance Smith, et al.

Georgia has a shortage of at least 350,000 new housing units, states a legislative committee report.

"Since 2007, 75% of the building industry has evaporated. Georgia has a shortage of at least 350,000 new housing units. People who were building houses at the height of the market left the industry during the Recession and never came back. Meanwhile, Georgia's population never stopped growing. The population of metro Atlanta is projected to grow to 8.3 million people by 2040, increasing the demand for housing. The region's population increase between 2010 and 2017 was driven primarily by higher wealth households -adding 202,000 households earning more than $50,000 and only 21,000 households earning less than $50,000. This increases the competition for housing in desirable neighborhoods. From 2011-2018, the average single­-family home sales price in Georgia jumped from $162,220 to $301,000, an increase of 85.5%. 

"Affordability in metro Atlanta is starting to erode."

The report identifies four factors creating this situation, including  rising labor costs, land values, and prices for building materials. The fourth factor is:

"LAWS, or land use regulations, account for 24.3% of the final price of a new single-family home. The national average for regulatory costs for an average single-family home went from $65,224 in 2011 to $84,671 in 2016 -- a 29.8% increase. The national average price of a new home sold went from $260,800 to $348,900 over that span. By comparison, disposable income per capita increased by 14.4% from 2011-2016."