BAM Key Details

  • A new Zillow report finds the majority of adults support building homes in their neighborhoods to help lower the cost of housing. 
  • The survey found that bigger housing types, such as apartment buildings, have majority support near transit and park amenities.

Hopeful home buyers aren’t the only ones concerned with housing affordability. A new Zillow survey  shows the majority of adults support adding new homes to their neighborhoods to help with the lack of affordable inventory.

Low housing inventory remains a widespread issue for the industry, with an estimated shortage of 1.35 million homes, due to a slowdown in new home construction over the past ten years. This, along with rising mortgage rates in 2023, has made housing affordability worsen.

This affordability crisis also applies to renters as the rent price has shot up to more than $2,000 a month—which is 25% more than what renters normally paid before the pandemic. 

Public Support for More Housing 

The survey was Zillow’s largest ever conducted, with over 14,000 respondents in 29 metro areas across the U.S.

It found that, with renters and buyers struggling to afford housing, there has been an increase in public support for new housing. This includes accessory dwelling units (AUDs), duplexes, or triplexes in residential neighborhoods, as well as small, medium, and large apartment buildings—on the condition they are built near transit and recreation amenities. 

support for more housing

Source: Zillow

According to Zillow’s survey, two-thirds of respondents are concerned about the cost of housing in their neighborhood. The majority of respondents (70%) believe adding duplexes and triplexes would help this growing concern by making housing more affordable.

More and more people understand that the key to stopping runaway housing costs is to build more homes. There is majority support among renters and homeowners, higher and lower wage earners, suburban and urban households, who all say we need more housing and support it in their neighborhoods.

Manny Garcia

Senior Population Scientist, Zillow

As far as larger housing types, 75% of respondents support building different sized apartment buildings if built close to transit, parks and recreation. Some respondents suggest these amenities will help lower the cost of housing, but there is not total agreement on all these measures.

Respondents come from different economic and ethnic backgrounds, with the majority supporting these projects to some degree. The Zillow survey also reports younger residents, renters, people of color and LGBTQ+ respondents were found to most likely support all types of densification in their communities.  

public support for more housing

Source: Zillow

Solving the Affordability Crisis

Even regions that are historically viewed as more affordable have taken a hit from the increased cost of housing. The Northeast and West Coast markets have had the reputation of expensive housing costs for years, which caused voters and local authorities to change zoning for more homes. Now that housing affordability has spread across the nation, people are calling for action. 

The majority of participants in Zillow’s survey believe local governments should do more to fix the housing affordability problem. With news of a new house bill also released this week, it’s clear that it’s also on the minds (at least some) of those in Congress. 

As a real estate professional, you can continue to educate consumers in your market on local trends as well as national efforts (like the house bill) to help make homeownership more affordable.