A confluence of factors â€” including low supply, high demand, obstructive regulations and lacking infrastructure â€” is driving up housing prices in the state, a panel of state economists and housing experts told a legislative committee Tuesday, May 24.
â€œThere are too few units given the strong and growing demand,â€ said Josh Lehner, economist with the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis. â€œIn such a market, anything available at a remotely reasonable price and/or location is gone instantaneously. The lack of supply drives prices higher.â€
Panelists recommended a series of policy changes, many of which lay outside the Legislatureâ€™s control. Local zoning laws, permitting rules and even the state labor commissionerâ€™s interpretation of prevailing wage law for residential construction projects can drive up the cost and time it takes to build units, said Kurt Creager, director of Portland Housing Bureau.
â€œWho moves to Oregon? The short answer is everyone moves to Oregon,â€ Lehner said.
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