housing

A New Word in Development

In the old days a "blurb" was a positive promotional recommendation statement on a book jacket. I have done a few myself. Now we are informed by the developer of Civita, an urban infill project in San Diego, that "blurb" really means a cross between suburban and urban.

Are they going to put a picture of it on a book jacket?  read more »

Home Sweet McMansion

Is the new American house, with three-car garages and laundry chutes like Olympic ski runs, an improvement over the old ones that were limited to a cozy dining room, a den, and a kitchen that held a small round table on which was kept a toaster?

The size of the American house tracks the evolution of the budget deficit and national debt. Think of McMansions as you would the Federal Reserve Bank—an imposing edifice with the contents of the garage pledged to Household Finance, if not the Chinese.

Many neighborhoods have become the United States of Gatsby.  read more »

Subjects:

Miami Condo Price Implosion Continues

The National Association of Realtors has just published its quarterly median house prices and the trend continues downward in Miami. At the end of the third quarter, the median condominium price had dropped to $82,900 in Miami, about the same as the list price for a BMW-7 sedan. This places condominium prices at 77 percent below the 2007 second quarter median of $367,000.  read more »

Modifying Loans and the Decision-Makers

A recent editorial in The New York Times lamented the latest housing market woes, this time resulting from various banks’ disregard for, or inattentiveness to, a legal foreclosure process. As the article correctly states, “It is hard to be shocked.”  read more »

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia/UBS-Demographia Data Dispute

The Age (Melbourne) headlined a story "CBA Accused of Choosing its Facts." CBA is the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, while UBS is the Swiss investment house. Commonwealth produced a report comparing housing affordability in Australian metropolitan areas to international metropolitan areas (Australian Housing and Mortgages: CBA Mortgage Book Secure).  read more »

City of Austin Approves Big Greenfield Development

Despite its smart growth policies, the city of Austin has approved a new development on the urban fringe that will include new detached housing starting at $115,000.

Austin is the third fastest growing metropolitan area with more than 1,000,000 residents in the United States, following Raleigh, North Carolina and Las Vegas. The city of Austin accounted for 53% (672,000) of the metropolitan area's 1.27 million population in 2000, but has seen more than 70% of the growth since that time go to the suburbs. Now the metropolitan area has 1.65 million people, and the city has 785,000.  read more »

Strategic Diminshment at the Heart of New Housing Policy

Robert Samuelson in the Washington Post takes on the role of homeownership in our society. I'm generally a fan of Samuelson's writing, a normally sober, cold-eyed analysis of issues without favor to one ideology over another, so imagine my disappointment when reading him say, "The relentless promotion of homeownership as the embodiment of the American dream has outlived its usefulness."

Of course, there's more to his column. He goes on to say:  read more »

Affordable Housing Leads to Economic Growth

Logic suggests that a lack of affordable housing in a region will dissuade people from living there, and employment levels will suffer as a result. However, until recently, no one had readily tested this theory and simply relied on this logic to substantiate this assumption. Ritashree Chakrabati and Junfu Zhang of the New England Public Policy Center published a report looking empirically at this theory in the United States.  read more »

Australian Opposition to Loosen Land for Housing

The opposition Liberal-National Coalition, locked in a close battle with the ruling Labor Party in Australia's Saturday elections, has adopted a housing policy to improve the nation's housing affordability. The policy would require states to monitor housing affordability and to release more land for development. There would also be a review of the efficacy of development charges.  read more »

Year 1959

Get a glass of wine. Then click on this link, which plays a video called Community Growth, created in 1959.

Once you've seen the video, read on…

You're probably sitting with a puzzled look – 1959? Aren’t these the exact same issues that are plaguing us today? Don’t those 1959 developments look like many of today’s latest developments? Even the way they bulldozed through the land and stick-built the homes looks just like the methods used today!  read more »