NIMBY is a term used to distract from what's really going on. Nobody should be forced to endure constant crowding, especially of the type occurring in the American West. Many realize that the shrinkage of prime land has driven up housing costs, but they still act like it can go on forever. Money is treated as a resource unto itself, and literally being cloned in certain professions. See: http://enough_already.tripod.com/money.htm
The Earth is a finite mass and its surface gets more jammed each day. A lot of people are making money by charging for land that was once owned by nobody. The concept of permanent land ownership is purely a human one. Most species use what they need and pass on, rarely leaving permanent scars.
Some will tell you that the "wasted" American desert should be filled with people; just because it might be feasible if enough water was diverted. The blight of Phoenix, Vegas and L.A. isn't enough for growth addicts seeking easy cash from land that was once free. A little smooth talking and they're loaded with false wealth, able to buy their own mansion in a transaction cycle that keeps on taking from nature. To hell with frontiers and unbroken vistas. A price tag must be placed on every piece of usable land that's not spoken for.
Getting to the main point: the big reason these homes get built by the thousands each day is POPULATION GROWTH. In the U.S. this amounts to about 3 million more people annually. Worldwide it exceeds 70 million per year (net gain). If any other species tried to multiply at that rate, we'd declare a lock-down. But Man doesn't have to play by the rules of nature; so say the "conservatives."
For comparison, deer are generally considered overpopulated (for hunting's sake) but they number only about 20 million in America vs. 300 million people, headed toward a possible 500 million by the end of the century. Each deer also has a much smaller "ecological footprint" compared to a person. You can barely tell that deer (or most other animals) exist in satellite views, while human habitation creates endless scars. Which species is truly overpopulated?
Instead of harping on money and treating land as infinite, people should question the economic growthism and lack of global birth control that makes all these structures necessary. It seems that's too much to ask of the average person, though. They'd rather keep it shallow, ignore the root cause and whine about mortgages over cocktails.
Housing starts are a leading indicator of mindless population growth.