Loosened zoning laws sparked a 63% increase in building permits for accessory dwelling units (ADUs) or “granny flats” in California last year, according to an Attom Data Solutions report using BuildFax data. California had a strong lead as the state with the largest increase in ADU Building permits. MarketWatch’s Jacob Passy reports:

Some cities particularly benefited: Santa Barbara, for instance, saw 314% more permits issued for accessory dwelling units, or ADUs for short. Hawaii saw the next largest increase of any state at 31%, followed by Tennessee (25%) and Washington (22%). California also had the largest number of total permits issued in 2017 for in-law apartments, with 4,352, more than twice as many as Oregon, the state with next-most.

Developers and housing economists point to ADUs as a cure for inventory shortages, Passy reports, but the boom in permits has not been matched by a building boom yet. Homeowners may be hampered by the cost of building units and limited financing options, according to MarketWatch, but looser zoning laws could still lead to other forms of denser housing.

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