The saylor.com website provides useful information on construction costs,
updated annually, with locational adjustments to account for local variation
Louis Post: Outlines of Louis F. Post's
Lectures, with Illustrative Notes and Charts (1894) — Appendix:
Q20. Would not the single tax increase the rent of houses?
A. No. It takes taxes off buildings and materials, thus making it cheaper
to build houses. How can house rent go up as the cost of building houses
goes down? Read pp. 5 to 8 and the related notes.
Q21. Do not the benefits of good government increase the value of houses
as well as of land?
A. No. Houses are never worth any more than it costs to reproduce them.
Good government tends to diminish the cost of house building; how, then, can
government increase the value of houses? You are confused by the fact that houses,
being attached to land, seem to increase in value, when it is the land and not
the house that really increases. It is the same mistake that a somewhat noted
economic teacher, who advocates protection as his specialty, made when he tried
to show that there is an "unearned increment" to houses as well as
to lands. He did so by instancing a lot of vacant land which had risen in value
from $5000 to $10,000, and comparing it with a house on a neighboring lot which,
as he said, had also increased in value from $5000 to $10,000. At the moment
when he wrote, the house to which he referred could have been reproduced for
$5000; and had he been capable of thinking out a proposition he must have discovered
that it was the lot on which the house stood, and not the house itself, which
had increased in value.
... read the book
Herbert J. G. Bab: Property
Tax -- Cause of Unemployment -- circa 1964
The steep increase in the level
of rentals represents a true and
accurate yardstick of our housing shortage. During the period 1950 to
- the average rental rose
from $71.13 per month to $186.79 or by
- During the same period median
urban family income rose from
$3,497 to $5,924 or by only 69%.
costs per square foot rose
from $8.68 in 1950 to $11.32 in 1961 or by only 30.4%.
The ever widening
the level of rentals and the urban family income constitutes a rental
squeeze, which has brought untold misery and hardship to families in
the lower income group, especially to those belonging to minority
groups. The rental squeeze has also aggravated overcrowding and slum
conditions. Read the whole article