Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Houston tops affordability and innovation, big US homes, Houston's winning secret sauce, and more

 A few smaller items this week:

  • US vs European homes graphic below: "A good visual showing how huge US living spaces are compared to European. The average person below the poverty line in the US lives in more square feet of living space than the average European." (HT Michael). This is an often unsung advantage of Texas and especially Houston: not just lower home prices but how much home you get, plus the amenities of master-planned communities. But wow, those Mormons in Utah build some big homes for some big families! (click the graphic to enlarge it)

  • A great tweet from John Arnold: "Houston has bad weather, no natural beauty, and little history. But that’s a feature, not a bug. It means government has to be responsive to the people to create a place people and businesses want to locate. It must be efficient with taxpayer money and consider tradeoffs. It must create an ecosystem that leads to a high quality of life for its residents. Lose this focus and the city fails. There is no presumption that residents must acquiesce to the city; the city must work for the residents. Turns out there’s great demand for this concept: the city has gone from the from the 45th largest in the US to the 4th largest in 100 years. It's a simple concept but one I find wanting in many legacy cities with more natural advantages."
  • Houston needs this - more private operators covering suburb-to-work center routes that METRO doesn't.
  • Houston #6 on Top Metro Areas for University Innovation Impact, just barely behind the SF Bay Area and the only metro in the southern US in the Top Ten.  
  • High interest rates don't help, but Houston still requires the third-lowest income in the country among major metros to afford a mortgage (behind St. Louis and Detroit).  HT Oscar. (click the graphic to enlarge it)

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