Housing

Hong Kong’s Micro-Flat Bust: Set to Spread?

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Hong Kong’s infatuation with multi-million dollar shoebox homes is over as quickly as it began,” trumpets a December 21 headline in the South China Morning Post. According to Hong Kong’s largest English language newspaper, since 2016, there has been a spate of micro-flats construction, with 18 times as many built this year as in 2013. Micro-flats typically have less than 200 square feet of living space (19 square meters).  read more »

Subjects:

How to Sell Forced Densification to Libertarians

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When cities pass zoning rules (as Missoula, Portland, and many Portland suburbs have done) mandating minimum-density zoning — so that people are forced to either build high-density housing in existing low-density neighborhoods or build nothing at all — libertarians lead the charge against such rules. But urban planners have managed to achieve the same result, and gain the support of some who consider themselves libertarian, by:  read more »

The Mask Is Off: Minneapolis Declares War on Single Family Houses

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In a recent article published in Housing Wire (and in many other places), it was told that Minneapolis will abolish single family housing as part of the Metropolitan Councils 2040 plan. Much of the reason seems to be based on the idea that people in single family homes are discriminating against minorities and the poor, who can only afford apartments, although of course many people of color own homes, or would like to.  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 »

2018 Standard of Living Index

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The Center for Urban Opportunity (COU) has developed a measure (the “COU Standard of Living Index”) that estimates the purchasing power of real average pay in metropolitan areas compared to that of the average employee who moves to a new residence. We have found that the places that return the most for median pay are varied.  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 »

The Benefits of Homeownership Mean We Should Still Believe in the American Dream

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In 2004, President George W. Bush announced the aim of promoting a broader “Ownership Society,” in which more Americans could benefit from owning a home, retirement accounts, and other financial assets. “If you own something,” he declared, “you have a vital stake in the future of our country. The more ownership there is in America, the more vitality there is in America.” President Bush’s premise echoes ideas advanced by virtually all presidents since Franklin Roosevelt.  read more »

How Much Density Is Enough?

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Portland New Urbanist Joe Cortright has rarely seen a high-density development he didn’t like. Like Marxist economists who always begin their papers by referring to quotations from Karl Marx, Cortright takes his cues from Jane Jacobs.  read more »

Monrovia, Indiana, Idyll or Elegy?

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Frederick Wiseman turned his documentary filmmaking lens to the Midwest in his new work Monrovia, Indiana. My review of the film is now online at City Journal. Here is an excerpt:

"Wiseman spent ten weeks filming in this small Indiana town of about 1,500 people, creating a fair and insightful portrait of a section of the rural Midwest. He shows us quotidian aspects of life in Monrovia that are likely exotic to a typical big-city documentary-film audience: corn and hog farming, locals holding court at the town diner, a mattress-sale fundraiser for the local school, a farm-equipment auction, a Lion’s Club board meeting, and more.  read more »

The Suburbs and the GOP

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In this year’s elections, particularly in California, the suburbs spoke, and essentially destroyed Donald Trump and the Republican Party. In affluent suburban districts once controlled by the GOP – outside Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Seattle, Kansas City, Philadelphia and Orange County — long held GOP seats have flipped and may prove unlikely go back to the GOP unless Democrats alienate their new constituents.  read more »