California

The Bifurcated City

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After drifting toward decrepitude since the 1970s, many core cities have experienced real, often bracing, turnarounds. Yet concern is growing that the revitalization of parts of these cities has unevenly benefited some residents at the expense of others. The crucial, and often ignored, question remains whether the policies that have helped spark urban revivals have improved conditions for the greatest number of residents.  read more »

The High Residential Densities of California (and “Wild Wild” Texas)

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US major metropolitan areas show considerable differences in their median house sizes and median lot sizes among major US metropolitan areas. Reviewing the median square footage for owner occupied housing units (single-detached and manufactured/mobile homes) and median lot sizes for single unit houses varies significantly between metropolitan areas although, by contrast, median house sizes are remarkably similar.  read more »

Amazon, Google, Apple and the Late Capitalism Blues

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We think of the movements of high-tech firms as illustrative of totally new phenomena but it resonates as well with earlier industrial history. The “gilded age” of America, when industries expanded rapidly, produced a growing appetite for labor. Automation in production also expanded output and revenue, but also a growing need for workers.  read more »

Can High-Speed Rail Make Housing Affordable?

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UCLA management professor Jerry Nickerson thinks he has found a solution to California’s housing affordability problems: high-speed rail. Based on years of data, he has concluded that some Japanese who work in Tokyo and other expensive cities make long commutes on high-speed trains to more affordable cities elsewhere in the country.  read more »

Emmanuel Newsom?

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A youthful and handsome appearance, the blessings of the autocrats and clerics of our times, and a fawning media — all these belonged to French President Emmanuel Macron just a year ago. He was praised as everything from the “new leader of the Free World” to Europe’s Reagan.

Today Macron’s presidency is adrift, paralyzed by grassroots opposition to his policies — mostly from the middle and working classes — and a popularity rating about half of that suffered by Donald Trump. Is this the fate that awaits our new governor, Gavin Newsom?  read more »

Centennial at Tejon Ranch

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I was included in an e-mail thread last week about a 19,000 unit master planned community on the far edge of Los Angeles County. There’s an on-going debate about whether this is part of California’s housing solution or part of the problem. Centennial is one of three proposed residential developments at Tejon Ranch. It hugs the border of Kern County thirty miles outside of Bakersfield and three mountain ranges from LA proper. After a couple of decades of negotiations it was finally approved by the authorities.  read more »

California Out-Migration Intensifies, People Move South

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The new Census Bureau population estimates for the states have been released. The nation has experienced its slowest growth since 1938, adding only 0.6 percent to the population between 2017 and 2018, according to Brookings Institution demographer Bill Frey. Overall, since 2010, the nation has gained 6.0 percent in population and now has 327.2 million residents. This is an increase of 18.4 million.  read more »

The Next Housing Crisis

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Little over a decade ago, the housing sector almost brought down not only the American but the world economy. Today the reprise of the housing decline will be playing a very different tune.  read more »

Highest 2017 Home Ownership Rate in Grand Rapids, Los Angeles Last

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Home ownership is finally increasing in the United States, following the housing bust. The Census Bureau reports that 63.9 percent of households owned their own homes in 2017. This represents the first annual home ownership increase in more than 10 years, as a string of losses followed the housing bust after 2006. The home ownership rate has continued to increase, and stood at 64.4 percent in the third quarter of 2018.  read more »

California Doesn’t Have a Budget Surplus

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It’s become common folklore that California is booming and incoming Governor Newsom and the Democratic supermajority have more taxpayer money than they will know how to spend, save, or invest. Nothing could be farther from the truth; and it’s the California voters and taxpayers who will continue to be pay for this mistake. We literally owe trillions that isn’t being discussed.  read more »