Some Homebuilders Itemizing and Passing On Regulatory Construction Costs to Buyers

Chris Kirkham reported in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal that, “As the cost of construction permitting has risen over the past decade, Atlanta home builder Dennis McConnell has taken a new approach with customers.

“He now itemizes the regulatory costs so buyers can see firsthand why the price tags for his houses are so high. Among recent charges he has outlined: $8,000 for a new type of storm-water capture device required for each house, $3,500 for customized architectural plans required on every lot and about $15,000 to remove a tree from the property.

With every new regulation, ‘the more expensive it becomes,’ said Mr. McConnell, president of Healthy House of Georgia.”

The Journal article explained that, “As home builders pick up the pace after a punishing downturn, they face a bevy of new regulations and higher fees governing everything from environmental quality and park access to regulations on the amount of brick on a home exterior. Builders say many of the new requirements are well-meaning, but added up they translate to higher costs that are passed on to prospective purchasers.”

“A report in May from the National Association of Home Builders found that the average cost for builders to comply with regulations has risen nearly 30% over the past five years,” the Journal article said.

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