Oct132013

No the suburbs are not going away

Since the 1920’s the suburbs have grow with after the invention of the car and demise of the family farm.  I like and loved growing up in the suburbs, but I wish there was little more open spaces and few more farms.  Core cities have some advantages, but you always have higher criminal activity and a lack of your private space unless you are rich.

Because there was so much speculation construction  in 2000’s the growth in the suburbs has slowed somewhat, this is just a pause until population growth catches up.  But, so some reason Sam Zell thinks nearly 100 years of growth is going to reserve itself.

‘End of suburbia’ may nearly be upon us: Sam Zell

Young people shunning the suburbs in favor of the hustle and bustle of city life are leading the charge in the “reurbanization of America,” real estate mogul Sam Zell told CNBC on Tuesday.

Yes, young SINGLE people like the in urban areas.  However, the minute they start getting married and having kids the want to move to  homes with yards and good school districts.  This behavior has not changed and will not change.

“You’re drawing all the young people in America to these 24/7 cities. The last thing they want to do is live in the suburbs,” Zell said in a “Squawk Box” interview. “In that respect, you’re increasing demand for housing in the urban markets.”

San Francisco in 1967-1968 school year had 93,710 students enrolled.  In the 2010-2011 school year the enrollment number was now 53,033.  It’s also at the bottom of it’s enrollment trend.

The demand for the suburban lifestyle had been driven mainly by safety and schools, he said. “If you wanted to see the end of suburbia, all you’d need to do is make the school systems in the cities triple-A and why would anybody live in the suburbs,” Zell said.

You mean like LAUSD?  It’s in the biggest Urban area of southern California and southern California is the biggest urban area in the Western Hemisphere.   Look at more recent the enrollment numbers at LAUSD.  In 2002-2003 the enrollment was 747,000 however, by 2011-2012 it was 640,000.  If parents are staying in urban areas then they are not sending their kids to public schools.

One of the byproducts of people moving to cities is soaring demand for apartments. “We are seeing 96 percent occupancy,” said Zell—who’s chairman of the real estate investment trust Equity Residential, one of the largest apartment groups in the country. Of the 18,000 units the REIT manages in New York City, Zell estimated 45 percent are occupied by just one person.

That’s New York City, America’s only city where mass transit is more popular than driving.

“It’s probably going to happen here in New York first,” he said. “You’re going to see 300-square-foot apartments, directly related to that one person wanting to live alone—and saying, ‘I’ll give up space for privacy.'”

This is why for the next hundred years suburbs will be more popular than the urban areas:

  • Decentralized places of work, mass transit only works if employment locations are central.  You can’t designed a region after it’s sprawled out, especially if you have multiple centers of employment.
  • Good School districts tend to be small and therefore suburban
  • People like amenities like parks, hiking trails, dog parks, and other outdoor activities.
  • People want their own pools, BBQ’s, and backyards.
  • Autonomous cars will make commuting faster and more efficient.  It’s will be cheaper than building expensive and slower mass transit systems.

It’s actually the agenda of the Far Left to kill the suburbs. Although I disagree with Cal Watch Dog’s conclusion that these law caused the housing bubble, it was easy and cheap credit credit that caused it.  These law do hinder the development of  suburbs.  The key law is now Senate Bill 375 read it right here.  If these policies are implemented, I think people with just move.

However, in the end I doubt even this agenda will end the suburbs, these laws will be repealed.  You have areas like Irvine that are becoming like bloombergs with more jobs, but it will never be truly urban.  So, you’ll have  The population of the suburbs will grow along with central cities.  Then we will all retire to states in the sunbelt that are away from urban centers.

Mike