THE PROMISE AND PITFALLS OF ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS AS AN AFFORDABLE HOUSING PANACEA
STATES WITH INCREASING ADU BUILDING PERMITS 2017 YEAR-OVER-YEAR PERCENT CHANGE IN ADU BUILDING PERMITS
An Accessory Dwelling Unit Memorandum published in December 2016 by the California Department of Housing and Community Development claims that these “changes to ADU laws will further reduce barriers, better streamline approval and expand capacity to accommodate the development of ADUs.” The legislation certainly appears to be accomplishing its goal of accommodating the development of ADUs. Statewide in California, building permits for ADUs increased 63 percent in 2017 compared to 2016, the biggest increase among 20 states with at least 100 ADU building permits issued in 2017, according to an ATTOM Data Solutions analysis of building permit data from Buildfax. Nationwide, building permits for ADUs were unchanged in 2017 compared to 2016.
“As affordability worsens, the incentive for homeowners to build ADUs becomes greater. But the cities just have to let them. That’s the only barrier.”
HOLLY TACHOVSKY CEO, BUILDFAX AUSTIN, TEXAS
with 4,352, followed by Oregon (1,682), Washington (1,110), Florida (944) and Maryland (872). “As affordability worsens, the incentive for homeowners to build ADUs becomes greater. But the cities just have to let them. That’s the only barrier,” said Holly Tachovsky, CEO at Buildfax, who noted that the rise in ADU building permits in some inventory- and affordability-challenged cities reflects a larger trend she has noticed in remodeling in the wake of the Great Recession. “Americans are now spending more money remodeling homes than they are building new ones.
This flipped in 2009 and it has stayed flipped since then. The previous trend in all of recorded data before that — decades and decades — was new construction dollars were more than remodeling dollars.” A “Ton of Money” in ADUs Among 30 California metropolitan statistical areas analyzed, the biggest increase in ADU building permits was in Santa Barbara (up 314 percent). Three other Southern California cities posted increases in the top five among the state’s metro areas: Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura (up
California had the most ADU building permits issued in 2017 of any state,
MARCH 2018 | ATTOM DATA SOLUTIONS
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