Housing

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

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Urban planners predicted that Millennials would prefer renting apartments in dense cities over owning homes in low-density suburbs. So they told regional governments to restrict low-density development and promote high-density housing instead. Now, Millennials are 18 percent less likely to own homes than their parents did when their parents were young: in 1990, 45 percent of 25-34-year-olds owned their own homes; by 2015, it was just 37 percent.  read more »

Welcome To Ashburn (via WBEZ)

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Some recent pieces I wrote about segregation in the past few weeks got me thinking of how to express a particular feature of segregation I've witnessed in the Rust Belt, what one might call "diversity without integration", plays out in some cities.  read more »

American Migration: Exploring Where People Move Across America

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Just a few years ago, experts indicated Americans (especially young Americans) were more interested in a different lifestyle than previous generations. Instead of owning a house in the suburbs, the new American dream consisted of renting an apartment in the city.  read more »

Backyard Rental House Zoning Threatens Trees, Breezes, Birds and Neighborhoods

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The Dallas city manager and housing director are proposing a devastating blanket zoning change: allowing ADUs (additional dwelling units), better known as backyard rental houses, in single-family zoned neighborhoods. This change would allow a 44-foot wide by 30-foot tall rental house to be built on the back of a standard 50‑foot wide by 150-foot deep lot. Backyard rental houses would deforest the older neighborhoods, undermine neighborhood stability, accelerate gentrification, reduce diversity of housing, and diminish attainably priced opportunities for homebuyers.  read more »

California, Greenhouse Gas Regulation, and Climate Change

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This is an excerpt of a new report, California, Greenhouse Gas Regulation, and Climate Change, from Chapman University’s Center for Demographics and Policy. The report is authored by David Friedman and Jennifer Hernandez, and edited by Joel Kotkin. Read the full report (pdf) using the attachment below.  read more »

America’s Vacant Housing Challenge

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Alan Mallach is out with a new study from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy called “The Empty House Next Door.” It’s a look at vacant housing in America’a cities. This chart should give you a feel for the problem in a number of places.  read more »

Which Downzoning Is Evil?

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Another day, another story about how evil single-family zoning makes housing expensive. This one is from Seattle, whose urban-growth boundary was drawn more than 30 years ago and, as far as I know, has never been changed.  read more »

What is Middle-Income Housing Affordability?

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Few local or metropolitan issues receive more attention than housing affordability. This article provides a perspective on housing affordability. The focus is on the approach used by the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, which I co-author annually with Hugh Pavletich (of performanceurbanplanning.org). The Demographia Survey has been published for 14 years.  read more »

Housing Affordability from Vancouver to Sydney to Toronto: Time to Do What Works

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The front page of The Wall Street Journal cited the difficulty of cities (Note 1) trying to stop the escalation of house prices “Western Cities Try, and Fail, To Slow Chinese Home Buying.” The more descriptive online headline said: Western Cities Want to Slow Flood of Chinese Home Buying. Nothing Works: Governments from Vancouver to Sydney to Toronto are using taxes and other restrictions to tackle real-estate bubbles.  read more »

Suburb & Exurbs Dominate House Building Over Six Decades

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In recent years we have been using the City Sector Model (Figure 6, see City Sector Model Note below) to analyze the extent of urban core, suburban and exurban trends in major metropolitan areas. The City Sector Model gives a more accurate picture of how much modern metropolitan areas are dominated by the automobile oriented suburbanization that has occurred since World War II.  read more »