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 »

Misunderstanding the Bubble and Burst in Sacramento

An opinion piece in the Sacramento Bee by Sean Wirth of the Environmental Council of Sacramento could not have been more wrong in its characterization of the causes of the housing bubble in Sacramento.

The article starts out promisingly, correctly noting that:  read more »

  • The housing bubble spawned the Great Recession
  • Demand exceeded the inventory of houses in the Sacramento area
  • Sacramento prices "soared sky high"

Evangelicals: Preventing and Causing the Housing Bubble

The International Monetary Fund has published some of the most peculiar econometric research in recent history in Irrational Exuberance in the US Housing Market: Were Evangelicals Left Behind? In it, Christopher Crowe associates the financial behavior of Evangelical Protestant Christians with more stable US markets during the housing bubble.  read more »

Aspiring to The Russian Dream

Bloomberg Business Week reports that the Russian government wants to move urban residents from their "cramped" high rise apartments to new suburban developments. Single family houses would be built in joint ventures with private developers. Present plans are to develop 2.5 million acres of suburban homes. This is a very large program.  read more »

China's Housing Bubble: Quality Research Required

It is extremely difficult to find reliable reporting on the intensity of the housing bubbles across China, but this article from the China Post of June 1, 2010 "Economist sees housing market bubble", appears to be realistic.  read more »

$300,000-$400,000 for a Levittowner?

An article in The Wall Street Journal details the difficulties that were faced by home owners caught in the Goldman Sachs/John Paulson finance scheme ("The Busted Homes Behind a Big Bet"). The article calls the situation a "dizzyingly complex transaction, involving 90 bonds and a 65-page deal sheet. But it all boiled down to whether people ...  read more »

Unaffordable Housing in Hong Kong

For the past six years, Hugh Pavletich of Performance Urban Planning (Christchurch, New Zealand) and I have authored the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey. The Survey assesses structural housing affordability by the use of the Median Multiple (median house price divided by the median household income). This measure is in wide use and has been recommended by the United Nations and the World Bank.  read more »

Queensland: Housing Relief on the Horizon?

Queensland might be thought of as the Florida of Australia. Like Florida, Queensland is the "Sunshine state." For years, Queensland has been the fastest growing state in the nation, just as Florida has been the fastest growing large state in the United States. The Gold Coast in Southeast Queensland might be characterized as Miami Beach on steroids.  read more »