Posts Tagged ‘homeownership’

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Sat Jan 29th 2011 at 11:00am UTC

Foreclosures Still Concentrated in Sunbelt Cities

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

The economic fallout from the nation’s housing crisis continues to be geographically concentrated. New figures on foreclosure rates for 2010 from RealtyTrac show that Sunbelt metros continue to see the highest levels of foreclosure in the nation.

Miami tops the list with more than 171,704 foreclosures followed by Phoenix with 124,720 and Riverside with 101,210. The map above prepared by Zara Matheson of the Martin Prosperity Institute shows the 20 metros with the highest total number of foreclosures based on the RealtyTrac data.

And, 19 of the 20 metros with the highest foreclosure rates are located in just three Sunbelt states –  Nevada, California, and Florida. In Las Vegas, a staggering one in 10 housing units (10.88 percent) went through foreclosure in 2010.

Unfortunately, foreclosure rates were up in nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of the 206 metros  tracked by RealtyTrac.  But, foreclosure activity was down in the 10 metros with the highest foreclosure rates, which could be a signal that the worst of the housing crisis is finally past.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Mon Jan 3rd 2011 at 9:00am UTC

The Role of Beauty in Community Satisfaction

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Beautiful Places: The Role of Perceived Aesthetic Beauty in Community Satisfaction” is a new paper on regional studies that I wrote with my MPI colleagues Charlotta Mellander and Kevin Stolarick.

Here’s the abstract:

This research uses a large survey sample of individuals across United States locations to examine the effects of beauty and aesthetics on community satisfaction. The paper conducts these estimations by ordinary least-squares, ordered logit, and multinomial logit. The findings confirm that beauty is significantly associated with community satisfaction. Other significant factors include economic security, schools, and social interaction. Further, community-level factors are significantly more important than individual demographic characteristics in explaining community satisfaction.

Read the full paper here.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Tue Nov 9th 2010 at 10:10am UTC

The Case Against Home Ownership

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Here’s the clip of my recent appearance with Yale University’s Robert Shiller on The Agenda with Steve Paikin.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Sat Oct 9th 2010 at 9:15am UTC

Suburban Renewal

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

This is the longer, unedited version of my column in today’s Wall Street Journal.

Remaking our sprawling suburbs, with their enormous footprints, shoddy construction, hastily put up infrastructure, and dying malls, is shaping up to be the biggest urban revitalization challenge of modern times—far larger in scale, scope and cost than the revitalization of our inner cities.

What a dramatic shift. Just a couple of decades ago, the suburbs were the locus of the American Dream. More than their sprawling, large-lot homes and big wide lawns, their shopping malls, industrial parks, and office campuses accounted for a growing percentage of the nation’s economic output.  A good many of them formed into Edge Cities—satellite centers where people could live, work, and shop without ever having to set foot in the center city.

With millions of homes underwater or in foreclosure, our suburbs and exurbs have taken some of the most visible hits from the great recession. In a stunning reversal, big cities like New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle have become talent magnets at the same time, drawing ambitious people, empty-nesters, young-families, and even a growing number of offices back to their downtown cores. As inner city neighborhoods are being gentrified, blight and intransigent poverty are moving out to the suburbs, where one third of the nation’s poor now reside—1.5 million more than in cities, according to a Brookings study. And suburban poverty populations are growing at five times the rate of those in cities.


Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Tue Oct 5th 2010 at 12:30pm UTC

Pictures from the Housing Bust

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Striking and eerily beautiful aerial photographs of housing developments stymied by the housing bust (via Barry Ritholz, The Big Picture).


Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri Sep 3rd 2010 at 12:10pm UTC

Mapping Troubled Housing Markets

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

On Tuesday, The Daily Beast ran my new Housing-Mortgage Stress Index. While the U.S. housing market saw a sharp drop in July and millions of homeowners remain underwater, housing market troubles vary significantly by metro region.

The Housing-Mortgage Stress Index shows the U.S. metros whose housing markets — and homeowners — face the highest levels of stress and danger of foreclosure and falling prices. The index, developed with my collaborator Charlotta Mellander, is based on three variables:

  • Negative equity — percent of mortgages where owners owe more than their homes are worth.
  • Loan-to-value ratio — total Mortgage Debt Outstanding divided by Total Property Value — both from Core Logic.
  • Monthly mortgage cost-to-income ratio from the U.S. Census American Community Survey.

The index weights all three variables equally and covers 142 U.S. metros. (more…)

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Tue Aug 24th 2010 at 12:59pm UTC

The Great Housing Policy Distortion

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Arnold Kling is all over it:

Old consensus: we need Freddie and Fannie in order to make housing “affordable.”

New consensus: we need them in order to “prevent further house price declines,” in other words, to make housing less affordable …

Government interference in housing markets, which helped produce the disorder known as the financial crisis, is still producing disorder…

The effort to prop up home prices does the following:

1. Diverts capital from other uses.

2. Uses up taxpayer money that could be spent on other things.

3. Increases the wealth of people who find suckers to buy their houses at too-high prices.

4. Decreases the wealth of the suckers who buy now.

5. Decreases the liquidity and mobility of people who cannot find rational buyers for their houses because rational buyers do not buy into a rigged market.

6. Decreases the investment opportunities for rational buyers, who are unable to buy homes in an un-rigged market.


Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri Aug 13th 2010 at 9:14am UTC

Rent, Reset, Go

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Jennifer Edwards is one of many, many Americans selling their homes and trading them in for a new, more flexible, experiential life as renters.

Today, at 2 PM, I will sell my 2-bedroom Condo in Park Slope Brooklyn. This is not a new experience. I bought and sold real estate in New York City throughout the mid 1990s and 2000s, in order to put myself through graduate school, pay for my son’s private school education, and monetarily supplement my artist / college professor earnings …

I’m primed to channel my creative skills elsewhere as it seems I am perhaps [again] ahead of the trend. Two recent studies indicate that we find happiness not by owning [things] but by doing [things] …

Apply this to the ideas of ownership vs. experience and you have either a recipe for disaster or the tools to take back control of your life where you can. Changing your boss may be hard. Choosing not to take on car payments, credit card debt and mortgages, or at least minimize them, is easier.

Today, I survey my home, a rented apartment in the East Village, and thank my landlord. As I remember 14 years of ownership experiences: properties sprouting leaks, broken sewage pipes, unruly coop boards, building-wide lawsuits, and assessments. All I have to do now is pay my rent and my landlord takes on all of the headaches, the mortgage, and the maintenance of my living space. By this evening, there will be money in the bank and I will be free. I feel better already.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Wed Jul 14th 2010 at 1:00pm UTC

Rentals, Reset, and Urban Revitalization

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

A key aspect of resetting the U.S. economy is a shift from homeownership to rental. The U.S. homeownership rate is already coming down on its own, and metro regions with about 40-45 percent renters and 55-60 percent owners appear to have greater flexibility in dealing with economic transitions and higher levels of human capital and higher incomes as well. But rentals can also play a role in urban revitalization. It used to be that rental units were converted into condos. But now, in downtown Miami, high-end condos are being converted into rentals. And it’s bringing lots of young people, empty-nesters, and even some families back downtown, according to this Bloomberg report: (more…)

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Jun 24th 2010 at 3:31pm UTC

Chart of the Day: Slow Growth in House Prices

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

The Case-Shiller Home Price Index projects slow growth in house prices for the next four years or so. The chart below (via The Wall Street Journal) tracks the Case-Shiller Index from 2000 through 2014.

After a slight uptick, the index is projected to decline again by about 1.4 percent this year. The cumulative increase for the next five years is projected to be 10.5 percent – or about 2 percent a year. This will make up about a third of the total loss (28 percent) from peak housing values in 2006.