[FoRK] Housing bubble vs. what ifs / what could be

Simon Dann simon at photogabble.co.uk
Thu Feb 19 05:51:26 PST 2009

That sounds like a really good idea, I have myself been trying for years to
get on the property ladder and even with the housing market in the current
state it is going to prove difficult.

On Wed, Feb 18, 2009 at 7:15 PM, Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net> wrote:

> It always seemed, for housing, like it was mostly an artificial market.
>  Sure, having a building in downtown Manhattan is great for business.  And
> sure, an apartment in a swanky area of San Francisco is worth a good bump,
> but $2M for a 2 bedroom apartment?  Anywhere?  Come on.  At a fraction of
> that rate, assuming freedom from onerous building codes, one could build a
> large building below and above ground to get many people close to a
> desirable location.
> And there is so much unused land, even just in the US, that all of this
> artificial concentration is just a waste.  If all of that surplus value had
> been invested in super fast and super capacity mass transit, it would have
> been much better.  West Virginia to DC in 20 minutes.  Central valley to
> SF/SJ in 35 min.  Etc.  All totally doable, but instead, 50 year old shacks
> with $30K of material on 1/8 acre in Palo Alto are "worth" $1M+.  Please.
> A better system might look like this: New communities are built on
> essentially free (i.e., uninflated) land with the government funding utility
> installation and schools, houses built competitively with factory components
> (Detroit or whatever), and each property ownership includes charge for their
> share of the mega-transit system.  Riding the system is free for the family
> / residents of the mortgage holder except for a yearly fixed fee.
> Or, refine hyper-dense housing in a safe, non-depressing way.
> The farm spiral skyscrapers for Manhattan are, potentially, an excellent
> idea.  Except for the falling cows.
> sdw
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