Monday, July 7, 2008

Sacramento Leads the Nation

For once we see the title above, and its not about our dismal housing market. There is a really interesting front page article in the WSJ about Sacramento's Blueprint for growth. I'm rather proud that our city would take such a proactive stance on smart growth.

Of course, I felt a substantial twinge of guilt as I realized that our home criteria are the antithesis of this concept.

6 comments:

mbc said...

"Between 2004 and 2007, the number of projects with apartments, condominiums and town houses for sale in the region increased by 533%, while the number of subdivisions with homes on lots bigger than 5,500 square feet fell by 21%, according to housing-research firm Hanley Wood Market Intelligence."

Up till now, the march towards condos and apartments has been less about smart growth and more about the developers desire to bring something less expensive to market as the cost of new single-family homes marched towards a half-million dollars. Now that home prices are returning to earth, will developers swing back to the traditional single-family subdivisions? I hope not, but we'll see.

Paul said...

I saw the article. The first thing that I thought of was studies of what rats do when you try to cram them into high population density environments. Then I mentally compared to China, where the cities have population densities that most American's can't even comprehend. I don't profess to have the answer, but I know what I like and don't like.

Patient Renter said...

Up till now, the march towards condos and apartments has been less about smart growth and more about the developers desire to bring something less expensive to market as the cost of new single-family homes marched towards a half-million dollars

Agreed, but also that higher density housing typically means larger profit (more units per parcel) for the developer.

PeonInChief said...

What "smart growth" means is that the central core will be taken over by the well-to-do, while poorer people will be forced to the outlying areas--sort of like Paris, but much more like some of the near-future science fiction around these days. And interestingly, the redevelopment of central core areas forces more people out, as those who buy the condos etc. are smaller households and often reconvert buildings that were divided into flats years ago into single-family homes. (That's why San Francisco's population is falling.)

The said...

"Agreed, but also that higher density housing typically means larger profit (more units per parcel) for the developer."

I disagree, it's actually a bit more complicated than that since higher-density homes usually cost much more per square foot to construct than your standard single family. That costs goes up considerably for any product that is attached to another. It may sound counter-intuitive, but that's been my experience working for my current homebuilding employer.

Deflationary Jane said...

It's a great idea except the developers forgot about one, slightly important thing - Jobs.

Now if you get one these deveopments to surround a campus like Intel, then you have something. But without jobs those areas, they just end up as amusement parks for yuppies.