In India, Tata corp. has a plan to build condos that would sell for as little as $8000 a unit. Which got me thinking about the cost of regulation in the US. Take California, a state that has an explicit government goal to promote affordable housing. My bet is that the permitting alone would cost more than $8000 a unit, and building code mandates would certainly make such a figure impossible.
I have always thought it funny that residents of the San Diego coast, with perhaps the mildest climate in the country, have the most onerous requirements in the country for insulation and air conditioning efficiency. Its like requiring residents of Seattle to put on sun screen every day.