One of the points made by William Fischel in his writings about zoning and NIMBYism is that the impetus for this behavior comes from homeowners trying to safeguard the value of their investment. Per Fischel, since most homeowners’ entire savings are locked up in one risky asset, they are risk-averse when it comes to any neighborhood change, leading to NIMBYism. Renters are more flexible.
Source: Pedestrian Observations
Recent efforts to fix the housing market — including Thursday’s $26 billion settlement with five of the nation’s biggest banks — have focused purely on the financial aspects of the slump. A permanent solution, however, must go further than money to address issues that have been at the core of the crisis but have been wholly ignored: design and urban planning.
[Link to Design a Fix for the Housing Market]
The portion of American families living in middle-income neighborhoods has declined significantly since 1970, according to a new study, as rising income inequality left a growing share of families in neighborhoods that are mostly low-income or mostly affluent.
Decline of heterogeneity. I'm not sure that's a good thing.
[Link to Middle-Class Areas Shrink as Income Gap Grows]
Looking at the relative prices of buying and renting homes in Silicon Valley, Manhattan and a few other places is enough to make you wonder whether parts of the housing market are still due for a crash. To consider that question in more detail, the author had a conversation with Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, which provided much of the data for his column:
[Link to Is Another Housing Crash Coming?]
The file also shows that the occupants never paid any property tax, and that the completed building breached several guidelines.
Well, well, too late to fine him now 🙂
[Link to The actual plans for Bin Laden’s “pucca” house]