Arizona’s housing deficit increased 1,377% since 2012, report says
Hensley noted that the cost to build, including labor costs, has increased dramatically in the last few years.
“These rising costs make it difficult for developers to actually develop affordable product, which is needed the most,” Hensley said. “It is difficult to combat issues quickly, but it can sometimes be done through technology, alternative materials and looser building codes.”
Plus, he said, the approval and permitting process at the municipal level is delaying projects, which results in less development.
“Local municipalities must address these issues and allow more building and more density to improve housing costs,” Hensley said.
NAIOP exec: More housing density needed
Suzanne Kinney, president and CEO of the Arizona chapter of NAIOP commercial real estate development association, said this is an issue for attracting businesses to Arizona.
“It’s important for businesses that are coming in and they’re bringing great jobs at a range of salaries, but they need their employees to be able to find suitable housing and ideally within reasonable distance of their place of work,” she said.
It’s time to start thinking about building projects with more density and a wider range of price points, she said.
“We are truly a big city now and we’re starting to experience the type of problems that all big cities face,” she said. “One of those is affordability of housing, especially with a median income or below.”
But density doesn’t always have to mean high-rise towers, Up for Growth’s Kingsella said.
It can be as simple as adding more duplexes, triplexes and even accessory dwelling units, which are those casitas in the backyards of many of the mansions in Paradise Valley.
Adding those homes in the backyard of an existing single-family home would dramatically increase the housing supply, Kingsella said.
“It will take off a lot of the pricing pressure,” he said.