So-called “NIMBYism” is stunting the growth of Australian cities and driving property prices up, according to a new report from the Reserve Bank of Australia. The RBA has reignited the housing affordability debate with its findings, which basically state that council zoning regulations restrict housing supply — and therefore raise house prices. Minimum lot sizes, maximum building heights and planning approval processes were common restrictions but zoning changes, such as moving from rural to residential, also have a “huge effect” on land values, the report says. Home buyers in Sydney must hand over $489,000 above the marginal cost of their property – what the house costs to build and how the market would otherwise value the land – not because of a physical land shortage, but an “administrative” scarcity of land channelled through restrictive zoning laws. While Brisbane’s zoning restrictions have raised detached house prices by only $159,000. Read More Here. By, Ellen Lutton.