Category: Property Issues

EPA and Regulatory Taking of Private Property

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution forbids the government from taking privately owned property without the due process of law, and without just compensation. However, what constitutes a government “taking” and can “due process” be preemptively satisfied by agency regulation? It seems in the case of “wetlands”, the EPA has overreached its authority. Let […]

Suburban Nation: U.S. 86 Percent Suburban

From Jurisdictional to Functional Analysis of Urban Cores & Suburbs For decades there has been considerable analysis of urban core versus suburban trends. However, for the most part, analysts have been jurisdictional, comparing historical core municipalities to the expanse that constitutes the rest of the metropolitan area. Most core municipalities are themselves substantially suburban, which […]

Smart Growth: Destroying Housing Opportunity from California to Australia (and Beyond)

Two recent stories provide further  evidence on the extent to which urban containment policies (also called smart growth, growth management, compact city policy, livability and urban consolidation) raises house prices relative to incomes, thereby reducing housing affordability. Because housing represents the largest element of household budgets (not transportation as a US government website implies), urban […]

Emiminate Insurers of Last Resort

The reaction to Superstorm Sandy’s $65 billion in damage has been the predictable doom and gloom about climate change and rising sea levels. But instead of implementing draconian restrictions, we can prevent loss of life and property by eliminating insurance of last resort. Extreme weather is nothing new. Paris was flooded on a regular basis […]

How The West Was Won – By The Feds

Well sometimes feels like we never won it when so much of our land and resources are under the direct control of the U.S. government and tribal authorities. If you take a look at the American “west”, you will see a very big difference from the other half of the country in terms of land […]

Obama Administration: Putting Species above People and the Constitution

A couple of weeks ago, I noted the Obama administration’s hypocrisy concerning protecting endangered species from harm (in this case the California condor) when it runs up against the President’s preferred energy sources – wind energy in this instance. Barely a week later and two new stories arise showing that though the administration values wind […]

Smart Growth/Urban Containment Continue to Drive Unaffordable Housing in 7 Nations

We have just released the 9th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey covering 337 metropolitan markets in Australia, Canada, China (Hong Kong), Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. As usual, the most unaffordable markets are those in with urban containment policy (also called by other names, such as smart growth and […]

The Atlanta Transit Tax: For the 1 Percent

  Voters in Atlanta, with some of the worst traffic congestion in the nation, are being asked to approve a new tax that would spend more than 50% on transit, in an urban area where transit carries only 1% of travel (Figure). No one is naive enough to think that the new billions for transit […]

Smart Growth on Steriods: Sick Cities

Smart growth on steroids, or the radical densification policy of California,  was the subject of my recent commentary in The Wall Street Journal — “California Declares War on Suburbia”  ( Regional transportation plans in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Los Angeles area and the San Diego area seek to force the vast majority of […]

Preserving the Ideal of a Property Owning Democracy: The 8th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey

www.dhi.pdf   EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Rating Housing Affordability The 8th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey covers 325 metropolitan markets in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. The Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey employs the “Median Multiple” (median house price divided by gross [before tax] annual median household […]