Housing

Housing Affordability Drives the Cost of Living

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Housing affordability is what largely drives the standard of living the United States. The 14th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey showed that, in 2016, there was a 0.83 correlation between the housing unaffordability, measured by the Median Multiple (median house price divided by median household income) and the composite cost of living (Note 1) for households entering the housing market in the 107 metropolitan areas with more than 500,000 residents (Note 2).  read more »

The Screwed Millennial Generation Gets Smart

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It’s been seven years since I wrote about “the screwed generation.” The story told has since become familiar: Millennials, then largely in their twenties, faced a future of limited economic opportunity, lower incomes, and too few permanent, high-paying jobs; of soaring college debt and structural insecurity (PDF).  read more »

Hamtramck: Scale and Institutional Frameworks

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I recently published an article that explored some of the ways regulations make it difficult for small businesses to get off the ground and function. Among the examples I used from around the country was Bank Suey in Hamtramck, Michigan. My story was subsequently reposted on various other sites which the owner, Alissa Shelton, read and objected to. She felt I hadn’t accurately described her experience as a business owner and that I didn’t present her town in the right light.  read more »

Would You Move to Wisconsin to Save Ten Minutes?

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Next City pointed me at a new ad campaign the state of Wisconsin is running aimed at luring Chicago Millennials to move north.

The focus of the campaign is on Wisconsin’s lower cost of living and shorter commute times vs. Chicago.  read more »

Housing And The California Dream Are At A Crossroads

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“The Plains of Id, urbanophiles might sniff. Can anything good come from suburban Nazareth? Yes, the suburbanites were responding. Everything good was coming from this Holy Land: a house, a job, the quiet enjoyment of one’s premises …” — Kevin Starr, Coast of Dreams, 2004  read more »

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Housing Affordability and the Standard of Living: The 14th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey

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For the eighth year in a row, the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey shows Hong Kong to be the least affordable housing market (metropolitan area) in nine nations. Hong Kong's Median Multiple is 19.4, up from 18.1 last year. The Median Multiple is price to income ratio used in the Survey, calculated by dividing the median house price by the median household income. The Demographia middle-income housing affordability ratings, as well as the summarized results, are shown in Figure 1. The Survey includes 293 markets in nine nations.  read more »

In The New Year, Worry-Free California Has A Lot To Worry About

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Propped up by media idolatry, California is moving from denial to delusion. Case in point: A recent AP story claimed that the state “flush with cash from an expanding economy” would consider spending an additional billion dollars on health care for the undocumented, as well as a raft of new subsidies for housing and the working poor.  read more »

Bringing Down Housing Prices in the Bay Area

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On Sunday the New York Times ran a story on the difficulties of building new housing in California, focusing on the city of Berkeley. There’s a lot of good in the piece, including the insane difficulties of getting approvals to build even when you propose something in keeping with the existing zoning.  read more »

The Urban Revival Is an Urban Myth, and the Suburbs Are Surging

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The past decade has seen a gusher of books arguing for and detailing the supposed ascendency of dense urban cores, like the inimitable Edward Glaeser’s influential Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier, and about the ‘burbs as the slums of the future, abandoned by businesses and young people, like Leigh Gallagher’s  read more »

COU Standard of Living Index 2017 – 2nd Annual Edition

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In this policy brief, The COU Standard of Living Index, COU provides cost of living estimates for new entrants to metropolitan markets, including prospective home buyers as well as renters. See the report to understand the detailed criteria used to create the standard of living index.  read more »