Featured News

Experts say 'granny flats' could alleviate housing shortages

Economists specializing in the housing industry say that so-called "granny flats" could go a long way towards alleviating the shortage of affordable housing. As such, they're calling on more municipalities to ease restrictions that prevent such dwellings being added to existing homes.

Granny flats are defined as accessory dwelling units that are generally separate, cottage-like buildings but could also be a converted basement or garage. They form an extra, separate living area and are often used to house older family members such as aging parents. However, many city and state governments have zoning laws that prevent these extra living quarters from being added into single-family homes.

Things are slowly changing however as more authorities come to recognize the benefits of granny flats for alleviating housing shortage problems. Leading the way is California, which added three new zoning laws in 2017 that allow for expanded development of granny flats. California has since seen a 63 percent increase in the number of building permits for these units—more than any other state, according to ATTOM Data Solutions, a real estate data firm. Hawaii saw the next largest increase at 31 percent, followed by Tennessee at 25 percent and Washington at 22 percent.

“At a time when many housing markets are experiencing severe supply constraints and housing affordability is under stress nationwide, accessory dwelling unit legalization represents a low-profile free-market solution that requires little from government actors beyond getting out of the way,” noted Jonathan Coppage, a visiting senior fellow at R Street Institute, a think tank, in a 2017 report.

With granny flats, homeowners can also generate an extra income by offering the units as rentals. Unfortunately though, many parts of the U.S. are holding back granny flat development due to zoning restrictions that don't allow for these units. Tricky building permit application processes are another factor in holding up their development, experts say.

Some of the reasons why many states are holding back include concerns that these dwellings could reduce the available parking spaces in neighborhoods, leading to more traffic congestion.

Mike Wheatley

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at mike@realtybiznews.com.

Recent Posts

What Is SaaS And How To Effectively Market Your Real Estate Business

SaaS stands for "Software as a Service." It's a software delivery model in which a…

2 hours ago

The Power of Predictive Analytics in Real Estate: Unleashing the Potential of Data-Driven Decision Making

Predictive analysis, driven by advanced data analytics and machine learning algorithms, has emerged as a…

3 hours ago

Professional Movers: A Well-Trained Team for Hassle-Free Move

Our well-trained movers ensure a seamless and hassle-free moving service. With their expertise and professionalism,…

24 hours ago

Now Is The Time to Buy Fixer-Upper House

The real estate market has been on a tear in recent years, with home prices…

1 day ago

What Is The True Value of Smart Home: Beyond Convenience and Control

The concept of smart homes has made tremendous strides since its inception, evolving from a…

1 day ago

Understanding The Power of Real Estate Remarketing: Reaching Out to Engaged Prospects

In the fast-paced and competitive realm of real estate, successful professionals require more than just…

1 day ago