Housing Affordability: The Saint Louis Competitive Advantage
The decade of 2000 to 2009 saw changes in domestic migration trends in America. These changes saw an increase in domestic migration away from the coasts and to the interior, or heartland, of America. The well-documented increase in housing costs was one of the primary drivers of that change. While housing costs increased everywhere, they increased much more substantially along the coasts, especially the West Coast. The Saint Louis metropolitan area was one of the beneficiaries of this new migration trend.
Saint Louis, Mo., has one of the United States’ most affordable housing markets. One of the reasons for the affordable housing in Saint Louis is the lack of centralized planning by governments in the area. The greater Saint Louis metropolitan area should position itself to continue to benefit from these domestic migration trends by limiting the planning requirements it imposes on homebuilders and developers.
That lack of government regulation and planning and the resulting lower housing costs leads to a lower overall cost of living for residents of the Saint Louis area. There is evidence that the more affordable cost of living is making Saint Louis more attractive to outsiders and resulting in growth for the entire region.