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Thread: Great, more new houses than ever.

  1. #1

    Great, more new houses than ever.

    Housing analysts, economists, and the mainstream media just don't get it. More than happy to report that 2004 was the biggest year for the private construction industry since 1996, they never, ever report the downside. That being the huge environmental toll it takes (everything from wholesale timber cutting to loss of farmland) and the ever increasing abandonment rates central cities, demolition of historic housing, increased traffic congestion, pollution and decaying infrastructure. Why rain on the parade of the fatcat builders and developers who are laughing all the way to the bank.

    They can’t see beyond the low mortgage rates as the ticket to 10% growth in perpetuity. They only cry gloom and doom if those mortgage rates were to go back up because God help us all if construction workers are out of work and just maybe someone might buy an older house and live within their means.


    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...ction_spending

    The strength last year came in housing activity as builders continued their mad dash to erect houses to meet soaring demand propelled by the lowest mortgage rates in more than four decades.

    Total private residential activity rose by 14 percent to $542.7 billion last year, a 14 percent gain which was the biggest increase in a decade. It marked the second double-digit annual gain. Private residential building had been up 12.9 percent in 2003 after an 8.6 percent increase in 2002.
    Where are the articles about revitalizing our older housing stock and helping marginal neighborhoods in older sections of town? There aren't any in mainstream media. That's because these analysts and reporters and the viewers they target don't give a damn about fixing up houses in our declining cities or preventing our National Forest from being sold off to the timber barons. They only see rampant new construction as this country’s sole economic salvation, something that is bought hook, line and sinker by a dumbed-down public who see tawdry new houses in the suburbs as the be all end-all of their existence.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Cat

    this qualifies as a tone deaf rant imo. blame the media, the home builders, the people who buy the houses...."fat cat developer"???

    come up with something new.

    The article reports certain economic facts. Planners should first understand why people are buying new houses as opposed to the alternatives that you, if you had the chance, would direct them to. People are have been flocking out of old cities and neighborhoods for decades, this is nothing new.

    And to continue to think we are doing so because the develop/homebuilder has concocted some ruse to fool us is silly.

  3. #3
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    SAC, I've read from several different sources that the new housing market will probably take a steep decline over the next 15 years no matter what happens to interest rates or the economy. The main reason being demographics, as boomers start finding their way out of houses and into other family's homes, nursing care facilities, and eventually cemetaries. Many 'experts' predict the inevitable new housing glut has already begun.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  4. #4
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Ooops... I guess I just contributed to that...
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  5. #5
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Well, I know I am going to buy an old house and remodel someday... Something about a brand new house just does not feel right... that and the lack of trees, lack of community, lack of history, lack of everything I am looking for.

    I say let them build, and then a great historic house can open up for me!
    Invest in the things today, that provide the returns tomorrow.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian ludes98's avatar
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    Thankfully my wife and I both like older homes with potential.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    I moved into an old home that needs a little work rather than an older house that needs a HUGE amount of work. I will not move into anything new because the materials feel inferior, vinyl siding is bleech!, and I don't care to mow 6,000 - 10,000 sq ft. I'm happy with my 4,000 sq ft lot.

    As for the bubble. Growth is good. Good is good press. We define good by an increase in quantity rather than improvements in quality. The media is reporting the good quantity numbers and it is interpreted as good for the economy.

    Good?

    good.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  8. #8
    People want to live in suburbia or in the country with a suburban house, lets face it, the America's love sprawl in every which way. So you spend an hour a day in a traffic jam, the house is fun to work on and it's your little piece of the pie. I'm priced out of the market in my state, so I look forward to a relocation in the land locked states. When I can, I'll buy a house, probably used, hopefully rustic. I'll be shocked if sprawl or the new house markets drop in the next fifty years.

  9. #9
          Downtown's avatar
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    It seems one of the biggest new trends in this area is aging boomers building smaller homes - carriage houses, town homes, etc, out in the hinterlands.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian ludes98's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Downtown
    It seems one of the biggest new trends in this area is aging boomers building smaller homes - carriage houses, town homes, etc, out in the hinterlands.
    Uhh yeah my parents retired to a 3500 sqft 3 bedroom. They are thinking about moving to a condo in town though in a few more years.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ludes98
    Uhh yeah my parents retired to a 3500 sqft 3 bedroom. They are thinking about moving to a condo in town though in a few more years.
    Yeah when I left for college, (being an only child) my folks moved into a bigger home further south of Denver. Didn' t make sense for two fo them, and two cats.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Future Planner's avatar
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    Infill, densification and downtown living is all the rage here (if you can afford it).....why is that? Because we are very nearly out of easily developable and vacant land for huge, master-planned communities.

    What is J. H. Kunstler is right...and the era of cheap gas comes to an end soon....what happens to suburbia then?

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Right now sprawl is a function on several things. Cheap gas, lower development costs, personal preference and what the developers are willing to do, the semi-free market. With the way most state's enabiling laws are, and lack of political support, our role will always be limited. Basically, sprawl, by and large, is what the people and the developers want. Are we going to pay a steep price in the future, yes. But we also have people outside the snow belt driving massive SUV's.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally posted by Future Planner
    Infill, densification and downtown living is all the rage here (if you can afford it).....why is that? Because we are very nearly out of easily developable and vacant land for huge, master-planned communities.

    What is J. H. Kunstler is right...and the era of cheap gas comes to an end soon....what happens to suburbia then?

    So what's the lesson? Money and people will only begin to return to the urban core once the effects of sprawl have become so debilitating and negative that the central city again becomes competitive? This in effect means that low growth regions are lost causes. They can't possibly plow over the countryside fast enough. The result? Nationwide, urban neighborhoods are either unaffordable (San Diego, Washington) or in desperate condition with little hope of ever reviving.

    Yep, it's all good.

  15. #15
    Future Planner, don't you think density should be a priority for a small suburban city like Escondido? It's about one hundred thirty thousand people and has no room left to grow. It's on a grid -at least the center part of the city is. Why shouldn't Escondido build four or five story buildings as aggresively as SD is building high rise condos? If you don't know about Esco, nevermind.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally posted by The Irish One
    Future Planner, don't you think density should be a priority for a small suburban city like Escondido? It's about one hundred thirty thousand people and has no room left to grow. It's on a grid -at least the center part of the city is. Why shouldn't Escondido build four or five story buildings as aggresively as SD is building high rise condos? If you don't know about Esco, nevermind.

    My employer is VERY similar to Escondido (100,000 people, kinda working class with an affluent edge, etc). And, I can tell you the residents of this town would not support widespread construction of four or five story buildings. That belongs in CITIES, we moved away from the city so that we can live in a "small town." At the same time, we don't want "sprawl" either.

    People in suburban jurisdictions hate two and three story buildings, let alone mid-rise. And, they do represent a big change from people's expectations.

  17. #17

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    Density is a big priority here.....but thats mainly because we're such an incredibly crowded small island. All new house building has to be at a level of over 30 to the hectare (12ish to the acre) unless there are very good reasons not to. Most new developments are running at about 40 to the hectare (16/acre) with town and city developments at about 50-70 to hectare (20-28/acre). These figures include land for public open space, estate roads etc.

    Generally works well if the design is good enough

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Future Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The Irish One
    Future Planner, don't you think density should be a priority for a small suburban city like Escondido? It's about one hundred thirty thousand people and has no room left to grow. It's on a grid -at least the center part of the city is. Why shouldn't Escondido build four or five story buildings as aggresively as SD is building high rise condos? If you don't know about Esco, nevermind.
    I don't know all that much about Escondido but you can probably draw on the following experience from another super conservative city-suburb.......If you can believe this, the city council of CARLSBAD approved a new urbanist development last evening! Carlsbad is the most white, consevative, elitist, affluent city I know. Of course all the neighbors (who just moved into their almost million dollar homes just a few years ago) screamed and protested about the density and traffic. The city council unanimously approved it with one of the council members quoted as saying "I've been waiting for something like this for a long time."

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