Your "growth control" argument is a bunch of BS and doesn't even follow the line of state/city legislatures and ruling political parties. But don't let facts get in the way of your story.
At any rate--pun intended--I think we can all agree that housing cost and rent costs are increasing at a proportionally and relatively higher rate than wages. I've always maintained that home/apt ownership is what separates the haves and have nots. Either you PAY rent or you GET PAID rent.
Unless you have a top 10% job/wage, then I'm unsure of how you change that. For example, if you rent in NYC, Nashville or whatever city you want to hypo, you're probably paying 1/3rd of your disposable income on rent. That leaves VERY LITTLE for saving for a downpayment on a place. That SAME money could be going toward paying your mortgage, and turning into equity, but instead goes to make ANOTHER person wealthy (and/or to pay THEIR mortgage). Fast forward 10 years, and if you rent you have zero equity, zero place, and nothing to show for it but the housing you had in the past. If you owned and were paying your mortgage, you have XYZ amount of equity and can pull out (assuming it's not a bust market) or keep paying it off.
In short, unless you have a very high paying job, I don't see how a person goes from renter class to owner class. And I think the numbers are getting more bleak--in terms of social mobility--every year.
In addition to the financial imprisonment summation, I'd like to add: it's a sell out to capitalism. The personal budget numbers really don't add up and people are suffering financially. "They" sold U.S. citizens out to global investors who want steadily increasing returns. Why would Denver increase without it being a top city? Well, to a Chinese investor, a U.S. Real Estate investment is a U.S. Real Estate investment such that percentage increases have less to do with the quality of life.
I personally believe the median rent for a 1 bedroom 1 bathroom apartment should be no more than $700 a month because people need:
1) An emergency fund, every year of $2,100
2) IRA contribution, every year of $3,000 since 401K matching is low or non existent. I'm a project management contractor and my agency asked me do I want to participate in the 401(k) program. I asked them, what is the match? We do not match, they said. I replied, then, you don't have a 401(k), you just have an IRA.
3) Home ownership down payment, every year $4,000 for 10 years, so you can have 40K and your partner can have 40K, and you can go to the bank with 80K to get a mortgage.
How many people are socking away $9,100+ a year????
Chinese investors don't give an eff. (And, I don't mean to just pick on the Chinese investors.)