Portland’s Urban Growth Boundary and Housing Prices (B): Note on Measuring Housing Prices

Case Solution

Molly Howard, Jose Gomez-Ibanez
Harvard Kennedy School ()

In December 2002, the Portland, Oregon Metropolitan Council had to decide whether or not to expand the Urban Growth Limit (UGB) for the metropolitan area. The UGB was created as an instrument to promote a more compact, livable and efficient metropolitan region. But property prices in Portland had risen rapidly, and builders and others argued that the UGB was to blame for over-restricting the supply of arable land. This case, intended for a bachelor’s degree in urban planning or economics, is intended to spark a discussion about how various forces of supply and demand, including building restrictions, affect home prices. It can also stimulate an investigation into the reasons for different types of zoning or growth controls. Part A (1703.0) describes the basic discussion, while Part B (1704.0) is an optional note that provides additional information on measuring home prices. HKS case number 1704.0

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