Economists, policy wonks and journalists from all round the World are united in their analysis of the problem of housing affordability. It's all the fault of the Government.
Planning regulations are the cause and location values are the effect. Many economists now call land values "regulation tax" instead.
The tables above are taken from a typical report on the subject by Demographia here .
What the report does is rank 377 cities in USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK and Ireland by their median multiple, which is the median house price divided by median household income ie affordability.
With this they also give various examples from the USA linking affordability with planning . Dallas being a perennial cherry picked favourite among economists (there are obvious reasons why the largest cities in Texas are outliers, but these are never mentioned in any of the reports).
For arguments sake, let us agree that yes, in general the higher the median multiple, the more restrictive the planning regulations are. But, going down that 377 list from least to most affordable, it's clear there is another differentiating factor that stands out.
I'm sure the sprawling Dallas Fort Worth metroplex (25,000km2) is a good place to find work and bring up a family. Texas as a whole is now doing well with mineral extraction. It also has a competitive tax regime.
But, if you want, beauty, culture, diversity, heritage and the very highest pay you live and work on the east or west coast.
We are told that supply constraints are the problem but there doesn't seem to be a shortage where the MM is highest.
You can make anywhere more "affordable" by trashing the place and making it less economically efficient. In an unregulated land monopoly this is what you'd get. In the absence of LVT, which would automatically prevent urban sprawl, and help efficiency, we need regulations via planning instead.
In the UK we have seen the effects of applying "free-market" solutions to the land monopoly by relaxing building regulations in 1980. The Parker Morris regulations had given us minimum space standards. With those gone, the effects were inevitable. The smallest homes in the developed World and the highest land values. One fed into the other.
Now we are being told to do the same with planning regulations.