Last week, I attended a day of the Third Annual Massachusetts Housing Institute sponsored by the Massachusetts Housing Partnership. The day was thought provoking and well-attended by local officials. The highlight of the day for me was the presentation by economist Edward Moscovitch about his new study for MHP:
The report is eye opening with eight main conclusions:
- Metropolitan areas with large manufacturing have slower employment growth.
- Regions that build more housing achieve stronger job growth.
- Housing supply has more impact on job growth than housing cost.
- Job growth is much weaker in places with large-lot zoning (defined as a minimum lot size of one acre or more). Another interesting and related fact from the report: "More new houses are built on large lots in eastern Massachusetts than anywhere else in the U.S."
- Domestic in-migration proves to be a strong predictor of job growth.
- High in-migration is critical to employment growth.
- State and local tax burdens have little impact on job growth. A related fact quoted from the report: "Most high-growth regions have higher taxes than Massachusetts."
- Really fast growth requires warm winters. "But, Boston grows a lot more slowly than other cold cities."
Lots of food for thought, self-reflection, and an impetus to rethink local and state policies.
If you care to share your reactions to the report's conclusions, comment on this post.