One of the big myths of the twentieth century is that large American cities are necessary and inevitable. Yet in reality growth has been dispersing to suburbs and smaller cities for the last two decades. As the decline of Detroit, once the country’s fourth largest city, reveals in all too harsh terms, being bigger is not always better. read more »
Atlantic Cities reports on research indicating an association between suicide and lower density, in an article entitled “The Unsettling Link Between Sprawl and Suicide.” Actually, there’s no reason to be unsettled, at least with respect to urban areas and their densities. The conclusions apply to rural areas, not urban areas. read more »
In an article entitled, “The People Moving to Austin and ‘Ruining It’ are from Texas,” the Austinist notes that more people are moving to Austin from neighboring Williamson County than from Los Angeles County.
The article has the potential to mislead in two ways. read more »
In a Daily Telegraph commentary, London Mayor Boris Johnson expects the proposed high-speed rail line from London to Birmingham (HS2) to cost £70 billion (approximately $105 billion). This is two thirds more than the most recent estimate of £42 billion (approximately $63 billion), which includes a recent increase in costs from £32 billion (approximately $48 billion) for the 140 mile long first segment. read more »
The great North Dakota boom, driven by oil development and strong agricultural markets, has continued to put the state at the top of economic growth rankings. The state can now add "housing growth" to the list.
As the region's oil industry expands and matures, the market for more permanent housing solutions has heated up. According to recently released Census data, North Dakota led the nation in housing growth in 2012, increasing its supply of housing by 2.3% in just one year. Overall national growth was 0.3%. read more »
Despite panning Texas Governor Rick Perry’s initiative to draw businesses from New York, Slate’s business and economics correspondent, Matt Yglesias offers sobering thoughts to growth starved states along on the West Coast and in the Northeast. read more »
For years, some justified high pay for college educated professionals because they served as a data base for certain types of knowledge – medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, law, accounting or any number of other disciplines taught at the college level. But with the advances in information technology and robotics, those salaries might not be justified in the near future. Information technology is currently forcing downsizing in the law sector, as fewer lawyers are needed to research cases or produce wills, trusts and divorce decrees. read more »
There have been numerous press reports about the expansion of micro housing, and expectations that Americans will be reducing the size of their houses. As the nation trepidatiously seeks to emerge from the deepest economic decline since the 1930s, normalcy seems to be returning to US house sizes. read more »
The New York Times restates basic economics in a June 9 editorial that should be required reading for planners and public officials who fail to comprehend how restrictions on housing raise prices. The Times expressed concern about the extent to which investor involvement in some markets has raised the price of houses for new homebuyers and others who actually plan to live in the houses that they purchase. read more »
For a few years, concern has been expressed about house price increases in Canada, which have been disproportionate compared to household incomes.
In this regard, the latest, semi-annual Bank of Canada Financial System Review points to the overbuilt multi-unit market, especially the Toronto condominium market, as having the potential to inflict serious harm on the economy read more »