Highest Cost Rental Markets: Even Worse for Buyers

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There is considerable concern about rising rents, especially in the most expensive US housing markets. Yet as tough as rising rents are, the high rent markets are also plagued by even higher house costs relative to the rest of the nation. As a result, progressing from renting to buying is all the more difficult in these areas.  read more »

Anaheim Transit: Suck It Up

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When I was a kid back in 1971 I lived in Anaheim, California where my mom was a waitress at a local amusement park. Exploring Orange County as an adult recently it all felt more or less the same as I remembered – only more so. The primary adjective has always been beige. The last vestiges of orange groves that still lingered in my youth are long gone, but the tidy neighborhoods of modest tract homes, strip malls, and motels are all still there behind the shiny new stuff.  read more »

Why Small, Struggling Cities Don’t Need “Talent”

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I recently recorded a podcast with my colleague Steve Eide in which he argued against the idea that attracting high talented people into government is what was needed for smaller, post-industrial cities.  read more »

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Protecting Cities in Fire-Prone Regions

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If you live in a fire-prone area, which includes most of California, it is not a good idea to allow ivy and other plants to cover the sides of your building, as this winery and this church did near Santa Rosa. Both were lost to last week’s wildfires.  read more »

Infinite Suburbia

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The following is an excerpt from the introduction of Infinite Suburbia, a collection edited by Alan M. Berger and Joel Kotkin, with Celina Balderas Guzaman:  read more »

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The New State Role Models

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With Congress on what appears to be a permanent hold, the search for a workable political model now shifts increasingly to states and localities. Today America’s divergent geographies resemble separate planets, with policy agendas from immigration and climate change that vary wildly from place to place.  read more »

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Housing Unaffordability Policies: "Paying for Dirt"

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Issi Romem, buildzoom.com's chief economist has made a valuable contribution to the growing literature on the severe unaffordability of housing in a number of US metropolitan areas.  read more »

Rising Rents Are Stressing Out Tenants And Heightening America's Housing Crisis

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The home-buying struggles of Americans, particularly millennials, have been well documented. Yet a recent study by Hunt.com found that the often-proposed “solution” of renting is not much of a panacea. Rents as a percentage of income, according to Zillow, are now at a historic high of 29.1%, compared with the 25.8% rate that prevailed from 1985 to 2000.  read more »

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How We Are Kluging the World's Growth Process

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The quirks of software and operating systems that we seem to experience on a daily basis are the result of Kluges – almost all software is written with fixes that work for a particular problem, often without knowing exactly why that fix works. As both a land planner and developer of high level precision design and engineering software, I do not allow kluged fixes – for either business.  read more »

Superstar Effect: Venture Capital Investments

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This is the latest in my “superstar effect” series. Richard Florida posted an interesting analysis of venture capital investments over at City Lab.  read more »