A report from Headwaters Economics shows that the cost of building a fireproof structure from the ground up doesn’t differ significantly from the cost of building any other home from scratch.
A new report from Headwaters Economics shows that 20 rural counties across Kansas are now considered unaffordable for renters.
“What was very apparent to us is that these unprecedented price increases that we’ve been seeing lots of anecdotes about aren’t isolated,” said Headwaters Economics researcher Megan Lawson. “It’s incredibly widespread.”
“The housing bubble pales in comparison to the price increases we are seeing now. Hopefully, it slows down,” said Megan Lawson, an economist with Headwaters who conducted the study.
Costs in lesser known areas in practically every corner of Utah are also ballooning — even in off-the-beaten-path or rural communities that were previously considered more affordable.
That’s according to new data released last month by the nonprofit Headwaters Economics, which highlight skyrocketing housing costs throughout the United States.
A new analysis from Headwaters Economics paints a picture of soaring housing costs across the West and beyond.
“Communities are seeing outdoor recreation as a way to even out the booms and busts of those extractive industries . . . as they respond to big macroeconomic fluctuations,” Lawson continued. “That’s something that I’ve really seen change.”
Still, recreation economies are no silver bullet. For one, Lawson said, counties with developed recreation economies have lower wages and higher housing costs on average. But wages are growing at a faster rate than those in counties without recreation, according to Headwaters Economics data.
The oil and gas industries also made up the lion’s share of revenue in previous years, according to a recent report issued by Headwaters Economics, a Montana-based group.
The report recommended four different activities to diversify revenue generated on New Mexico state trust land – renewable energy, commercial development, outdoor recreation and conservation.
The Oregon Home Builders Association testified the measures would add substantial cost to a home’s price, even though other assessments found fire-resistant homes would be minimally higher or even cheaper. The state did approve fire mitigation codes in 2019 but left them optional.
From 2005 to 2020, nearly 60,000 structures were destroyed by wildfires in California — comprising 67% of the 89,210 structures to burn in the entire U.S. during that time, according to Headwaters Economics.
Headwaters Associate Director Kelly Pohl says those factors can add to the impact of wildfires, which are becoming more severe and frequent due to climate change.
“Wildfire smoke and environmental stress can exacerbate existing medical conditions, which are more common among the elderly, the disabled and people living in poverty,” Pohl said.
Less than 10% of the total expenses incurred by wildfires are related to suppression, which is generally paid for by state and federal government, according to a report by Headwaters Economics, a think tank. The rest of the cost is from long-term, local rebuilding efforts such as road repairs, watershed restoration and home reconstruction. “All the costs, on all fronts, are going up,” said Kimiko Barrett, who researches community wildfire planning and policy at Headwaters Economics.
The nonprofit research group Headwaters Economics analyzed each county’s susceptibility to fire and smoke, but also socioeconomic information about residents, including age, race, income level, and English proficiency.
Nonprofit research group Headwaters Economics found that more than half the residents living in fire-prone areas are Black, Indigenous or people of color.
Headwaters analyzed the risks of fire and smoke for each county in America, as well as information about residents – including age, race, income level and English proficiency.
New Mexico is “well-positioned” to diversify uses of state land and reduce its reliance on fossil fuels, per a recent study published Tuesday.
Much of the action that would go the furthest toward reducing wildfire risk is outside the scope of federal authority, according to Kimiko Barrett, a wildfire policy expert at Headwaters Economics, a consulting group in Montana.
A 2018 study by the research group Headwaters Economics found that eight national monuments that had been redesignated as national parks saw their attendance increase by an average of 21 percent within five years. Since then, lawmakers have embraced the idea.
“We haven’t done it yet because it’s expensive,” said Megan Lawson, an economist at the land-use nonprofit Headwaters Economics.
She said depending on where you’re talking about burying lines, the cost could be five or 10 times the cost of wiring them above ground. But despite the upfront cost, in some places it still might make sense.
“We also need to be looking at the intensity and frequency of a lot of these natural disasters is increasing,” Lawson said.
Megan Lawson of Headwaters Economics points out that a family shut out of Arches is naturally going to scramble to find a nearby alternative. “They’re going to use Google and find another destination,” she said, “so we need to anticipate those pressures on surrounding public lands.”
“The increasing distance between the wealthy and least wealthy is getting more and more dramatic,” said Megan Lawson, an economist at Headwaters Economics in Bozeman, Mont.