To support their opposition to building energy code improvements, NAHB and state builder associations frequently claim that the resulting increase in home construction costs makes homes unaffordable to home buyers.

This white paper by Nehemiah Stone of the Benningfield Group and UCLA Anderson Forecast examined “several indices of construction costs and data on home prices” in California and concluded that:

1. “(C)onstruction cost growth is only marginally associated with home value across the metros. We cannot find evidence that structure (construction) cost increase will cause higher home price in either coastal or inland California.
2. “Metros’ construction costs are highly correlated to the national cost of inputs. We cannot find statistically significant evidence that California’s energy efficiency code Title 24 is associated with home construction costs in 8 Metros in California, in which 2 Metros are in inland California.”