1. This week at Market Urbanism:
The “Global Buyers” Argument by Michael Lewyn
The argument makes sense only when you add the following premise: housing prices can only be high in the presence of huge numbers of rich foreigners. I really don’t see any reason to take this premise seriously.
Home-Sharing and Housing Supply by Michael Lewyn
And if turning long-term rentals into short-term rentals is socially harmful, isn’t it even more harmful to prevent those long-term rentals from being built in the first place? Yet government does exactly that through zoning codes- often at the behest of neighborhood homeowners.
Visions of Progress: Henry George vs. Jane Jacobs by Sandy Ikeda
Much has been written, pro and con, on George’s single tax and also on Jacobs’s battles with planners the likes of Robert Moses, and if you’re interested in those issues you can start with the links provided in this article. Here I would like to contrast their views on the nature of economic progress and the significance of cities in that progress.
Urban[ism] Legend: A Home Is A Good Investment by Emily Hamilton
pursuing policies that encourage homeownership at the expense of other investment vehicles leaves people of all income levels worse off. Often, home ownership simply leads to higher levels of housing consumption rather than wealth-building. The consequences of buying a home may be dire for low-income families, and for the middle-class the decision should be based on rational calculations rather than the homeownership cheerleading that both parties offer.
That Airbnbs may in fact take some small portion** of houses from the optionally relatively fixed full-time housing stock is a symptom, not a cause, of housing shortages and high prices. Asking if Airbnbs take permanent housing is a somewhat fair*** question to ask given the realities of contemporary U.S. zoning codes, but it’s the wrong question. It’s time to stop asking what pain relief medication will cure our country’s housing supply cancer.
2. Where’s Scott?
Scott Beyer spent his second week in the Phoenix metro area. He wrote two articles this week–one for City Journal about San Antonio’s immigrant community (the piece appears halfway down the link, as a sidebar to Aaron Renn’s larger essay on Texas’ rapid urbanization). The other was a Forbes piece about Seattle’s over-regulation of micro-units.
It’s not that any one Seattle law states, point-blank, that micro-housing can’t exist. But the units have become so burdened by design reviews, parking mandates, micromanagement of layout, and location limits, that they make little economic sense for developers, and few are built. In this respect, they have become de facto “illegal.”
3. At the Market Urbanism Facebook Group:
Robert Stark interviewed Laura Foote Clark of GrowSF for his podcast
Chris Gaarder might start a pro growth/liberalization group in Orange County, CA and has some questions
Vanessa Brown Calder talks about “Modern Zoning vs Microhousing” on the CATO daily podcast
via Adam Hengels: As new supply hits some areas, “Economic law finds new home in some S.F. neighborhoods“
via John Morris: Jannie Blackwell’s Parking Mandate Bill Would Mean Higher Rents (Philadelphia)
via Asher Meyers: Ford backs massive bike-share expansion in the San Francisco Bay Area
via Malia Kristina: You’re an Urbanist? Excellent. Why Aren’t You a Developer Yet?
via Alan Durning, “The myth of “plenty of zoned capacity” — debunked.“
via John Morris: Barcelona just Declared War on Airbnb (and its Hosts)
via Adam Millsap, “Ed Glaeser writes about infrastructure building and financing, including privatization and user fees, in City Journal.“
via Antonio Renner, “Vlogbrothers on the scientific relations between commuting and happiness.“
via Matt Robare, “Desk, apply directly to the forehead:” What’s Wrong With America’s Dream of City Living
via David Whitehill: More Developers Kick Parking Lots to the Curb
Forbes on the rise of motorized bicycles
WSJ: Mortgage wizard Dan Gilbert and watchmaker Shinola are reviving downtown Detroit
London Mayor embraces protectionism for black cabs
5. Stephen Smith‘s tweet of the week:
— Market Urbanism (@MarketUrbanism) September 15, 2016