Real Estate Term::Supply of housing
Real Estate Term:Supply of housing
Housing supply is produced using land, labour, and various inputs such as electricity and building materials. The quantity of new supply is determined by the cost of these inputs, the price of the existing stock of houses, and the technology of production. For a typical single family dwelling in suburban North America, approximate percentage costs can be broken down as: acquisition costs 10%, site improvement costs 11%, labour costs 26%, materials costs 31%, finance costs 3%, administrative costs 15%, and marketing costs 4%. Multi-unit residential dwellings typically break down as: acquisition costs 7%, site improvement costs 8%, labour costs 27%, materials costs 33%, finance costs 4%, administrative costs 17%, and marketing costs 5%. Public subdivision requirements can increase development cost by up to 3% depending on the jurisdiction. Differences in building codes account for about a 2% variation in development costs. However these subdivision and building code costs typically increase the market value of the buildings by at least the amount of their cost outlays. A production function such as Q=f(L,N,M) can be constructed in which Q is the quantity of houses produced, N is the amount of labour employed, L is the amount of land used, and M is the amount of other materials. This production function must, however, be adjusted to account for the refurbishing and augmentation of existing buildings. To do this a second production function is constructed that includes the stock of existing housing, and their ages, as determinants. The two functions are summed yielding the total production function. Alternatively an hedonic pricing model can be regressed.
The long-run price elasticity of supply is quite high. George Fallis estimates it as 8.2 (Fallis, G. 1985), but in the short run supply tends to be very price inelastic. Supply price elasticity depends on the elasticity of substitution and supply restrictions. There is significant substitutability both between land and materials, and between labour and materials. In high value locations, multi-story concrete building are typically built to reduce the amount of expensive land used. As labour costs increased since the 1950s, new materials and capital intensive techniques have been employed to reduce the amount of relatively expensive labour used. However supply restrictions can significantly effect substitutability. In particular the lack of supply of skilled labour (and labour union requirements), can constrain the substitution from capital to labour. Land availability can also constrain substitutability if the area of interest is delineated (that is, the larger the area, the more suppliers of land, and the more substitution that is possible). Land use controls such as zoning bylaws can also reduce land substitutability.
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