Thursday, November 29, 2012

Noodling Housing, Detroit, and Where America is Moving

Return to “Normal” in Housing
Are we there yet? This seems to be the tag line for almost every optimistic article about the current national trends in new home sales (old homes sales, too). This article is a good snap-shot (remember those from the pre-pixel age).

And What is Normal?
In this article the authors point to a doubling of new home sales from their current level, “in the next several years.” And interesting prophecy, I throw a challenge here because there is a significant lack of planning going on to support the availability of new housing in the near future (three years or less, especially in California). It takes at least three years to plan and receive final approval for any project over one acre in size, especially if near any existing residential developments. I suggest the authors are dreaming and as a result prices will steadily climb.

The 10 Most Expensive Cities to Buy a Home
My guess this is not one of the most expensive cities.
This article, and I really love these, lists the 10 cities with the highest home prices, the author notes that only two cities are not in (close to bankrupt) California. Go figure. Now as a man who believes in the marketplace and the all things supply and demand, I’m not surprised. Yet, it is a head-scratcher and you wonder either how sustainable it is in the long term, or how depressive to business it is in the short term (housing costs vs. wages).

With everyone trying to tell Detroit what to do (and creating rancor and fear as a result), the residents are trying their best to confront the do-gooders and intellectuals using Detroit as an urban blank canvas. “Clear homes, make way for the future!” would scare any property owner hanging on by a thread. This brilliant article lays out many of the issues and planning teams involved with Detroit’s future, yet one thing is very apparent, change and rebirth will come from the bottom up, not like 20th Century planning, that forced change, hard and brutal change, from the top down.

Where Are We Going and Where Are We From? is one of my favorite urban blogs. With the talent of Joel Kotkin, Wendell Cox, and other guests it has become a touchstone on the current state of cities across the world. In this article by Kotkin, he challenges all the warm and fuzzy notions of the northeastern cities and lays out, in almost painful ways, the real changes to America that are underway. It is well worth the read and please continue to follow

Stay Tuned . . . . .

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