As soaring rents and home values exacerbate an affordability crisis across the U.S., renters and homeowners largely support modest densification measures including the construction of accessory dwelling units, duplexes, and triplexes in residential neighborhoods. In a recent Zillow survey covering 26 U.S. metro areas, 73% of homeowners favored additional affordable housing units, while support was even higher among renters (84%).
Residents were most likely to support the construction of accessory dwelling units, and most respondents also expressed interest in small and medium apartments, though renters and buyers were split more evenly on apartment buildings in their own neighborhoods, with 57% in support and 37% opposed.
Record-low inventory, triggered by a lost decade of home construction that caused a shortfall of 1.35 million new homes in 35 metro areas alone, has met a massive wave of demand, fueling an ultracompetitive market and pushing housing costs to crisis levels in some markets. There is no easy fix, but building more homes is likely the most effective tool to rein in price growth. Zillow research has shown that modest densification measures — allowing two units on 10% of single-family lots across some of the largest U.S. metros — could help boost critically needed housing supply enough to meaningfully slow housing price growth.