Middle Ground: Market Demand and the Housing Supply Mismatch for Middle Housing in the United States
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The purpose of this report is to analyze the market case in other words, the abundance of demand and lack of supply for middle scale, middle density housing. This category of housing used to be common in our cities but today is better known as the “missing middle,” due to demolition of the existing stock and a lack of new construction. The concept of missing middle housing has gained traction among urban planning circles in recent years, and even in the popular press. As the concept generates more buzz, it is important to step back and substantiate the degree to which middle housing is a bonafide market opportunity that satisfies unmet housing demand, rather than a fad. This established, stakeholders in the real estate development process can move forward to the more difficult task of addressing the many known regulatory and financial challenges associated with actually building middle housing today. This report surveys these challenges briefly but is more focused on emphasizing the market opportunity at stake more than laying out regulatory solutions, which is already well addressed in the literature. This report operates on the belief that what is needed today is not so much solutions as motivation to actually work toward those solutions.