Venice Beach is the toughest neighborhood to build new housing in U.S., followed by Prospect-Lefferts Gardens in Brooklyn and Philadelphia’s Fishtown
New housing development has stalled in the Venice Beach section of Los Angeles and in many other older U.S. urban enclaves, as local opposition seeks to limit new building and preserve local character. Shown, graffiti-covered abandoned beachfront houses in Venice Beach. Photo: mike blake/Reuters
Venice, Calif., is one of the nation’s hottest neighborhoods, brimming with affluent young residents and technology startups like Snap chat parent Snap Inc. But in one respect, it bears little resemblance to a boomtown: It hasn’t gained a single housing unit in 15 years.
The ZIP Code encompassing this vibrant Los Angeles precinct is the toughest place in America to build housing, according to an analysis of housing data conducted for The Wall Street Journal by Issi Romem, chief economist at BuildZoom, a website for contractors.
In all, the area, which encompasses Venice Beach, had about 700 fewer housing units in 2015 than in 2000, as apartment development stalled and wealthy homeowners gobbled up adjacent properties and leveled them. Home prices in the ZIP Code have more than tripled in those 15 years, rising 246% compared with the national average of 52% in the period, according to Mr. Romem’s analysis.