What American Dream?
There are many in America who don’t like or trust cities, primarily because they harbor a disproportionate number of Democratic voters. They don’t like investments in transit, either, preferring the privacy and freedom of the car. But whether they like it or not, America is changing…
Amanda Eaken of the NRDC points to a new study from the Urban Land Institute, The New California Dream. (PDF here) The subtitle says it all: How Demographic and Economic Trends May Shape the Housing Market.. Amanda notes the key findings:
First, the existing supply—that’s right, today’s stock—of conventional lot (> 1/8th acre) single-family detached homes exceeds the projected demand for these homes in 2035.
There is no need for building another single family detached house, period, for the next 23 years.
So if people don’t want to live in these homes, where do they want to live? That leads me to the report’s second key finding. In short, the answer is, near transit.
Amanda doesn’t go into the reasons for this, why people suddenly want to go green give up the house in the suburbs and take public transit, But the report does at some length. I suspect that the Joel Kotkins of the world are right when they say that the single family house in the suburbs still represents the American Dream. What the report makes clear is that America is changing, people are going to be a lot poorer, and they simply cannot afford it anymore.