EPA: Infill housing on the rise

A report examining residential construction trends by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shows that nearly three out of four large metro areas saw an increased share of new housing development in previously developed areas during 2005-2009 compared with 2000-2004.

Known as infill housing, this type of development takes advantage of previous investments in existing infrastructure (such as water, sewer and roads), as well as preserving open space and reducing transportation emissions, according to the EPA.

The findings of the report indicate that infill has become a significant portion of the U.S. housing market. Among all 209 metropolitan regions examined, 21% of new homes were infill, while the remaining share was built on undeveloped land outside existing communities. Seventy-one percent of large metropolitan regions saw an increased share of infill housing development. Among 51 large metropolitan regions examined in this study, 36 saw an increased share of infill housing development during 2005-2009 compared with 2000-2004.

In San Jose, Calif., eight out of 10 new homes were infill. New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco all saw a majority of new home construction in previously developed areas during the same time period.

This EPA report examines data on the location of new home development in metropolitan regions, as well as data on pre-existing land cover. It also includes a listing of resources available to local, regional and state leaders who wish to coordinate land use, housing and transportation policies.

For more information on the report, prior studies and a map showing regional trends, click here. 

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