New Housing Next Door: Does It Kill Me or Cure Me?

a new building under construction is a latticework of black set against an orange sunset

Housing owners are rightfully concerned about how neighbourhood changes will influence what is probably their greatest investment — their home. Housing renters also have an indirect concern. If the landlord’s fortunes change because of neighbourhood change, will it impact my rent?

With pressure on cities to find more room for more citizens, changing by-laws are often allowing more housing in a neighbourhood. That might be viewed as a boon, or as a threat. NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) neighbourhood defence associations prefer to keep things as they are, resisting any, and often all, changes.

In the U.S., a movement that has adopted the term YIMBY (Yes In My Back Yard) sees the building of new housing in a neighbourhood as a positive event, no matter what kind of housing. From luxury single family homes to social housing housing highrises, all can have a positive effect.

From the point of view of an existing owner, or even a renter, exactly what influence will new housing in the neighbourhood have on prices? Will new housing replace existing housing, or add to the number of homes in the neighbourhood? Will it be free market housing, or housing protected from the free market — e.g. social housing?

Opinions can be strongly held and vary considerably about the factors that influence the question of housing costs. A number of studies have been done to explore the issues.

A new article by Kevin Schofield does a really useful job of unpacking the influences on the cost of housing as a neighbourhood changes. Read more in the South Seattle Emerald: What Drives The Cost Of Housing?

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