Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"No New Houses, For You!"

One of the iconic characters created by the much-missed Seinfeld series was the Soup Nazi and his signature "No Soup for You!" rants at George and Elaine.

Well, the housing market just suffered its own version of that rant today as new home sales tanked over 30%.  This is a really bad number.  Bad enough to provoke talk about a double dip recession all over the web.

Read more from the Calculated Risk blog here.

All of this new housing carnage has a slight silver lining though as it leads me back to the premise that, these days--more than ever--municipalities have the leverage over developers to amend their land use regulations into more sustainable approaches.  In the past, developers might have threatened to go build in the next town down the road if anything but the most minimal moves toward sustainable development regs were put in place.

Now where is that developer (if they're even still in business) going to threaten to go?  The answer is nowhere because they cannot get the capital to build in the first place.

If cities are serious about reforming their land use codes to embrace sustainable regulations, now is the time to do so as the influence of sprawl-friendly developers is lower than ever.

--Chad Emerson, Faulkner U.

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Great point, Chad. This is where market economics, regulation, and Fischel's homevoter hypothesis comes together.

Posted by: Matt Festa | Jun 23, 2010 11:44:17 AM