Thursday, January 12, 2006

300 Million — Where Are Their Houses?

The New York Times reports today that the 300 millionth resident of the USA will be born sometime in October. And yet, at least in California, we fail to recognize the need to build more housing — a factor that helps inflate the bubble, by the way.

For more than 10 years California has endured a housing crisis. Housing construction has lagged behind population growth. Prices have gone through the roof. Vacancy rates have dropped to the floor. And what's the motivation for change? What might inspire our civic leaders to change this downward spiral? If you're seriously waiting on an answer, you're backing up.

I fail to see any motivation for property owners, or elected officials, to take steps to change this situation. Maybe the ones who have a social conscience might be moved to try, but they'll have to battle the usual whine, whine, whine about how more density will bring more traffic, lower property values, more crime, blah, blah, blah.

If you know of a socially responsible leader trying to seriously address this crisis, please pass their name along so we can celebrate them here.

Here's a brief excerpt from the story in the New York Times:
As of yesterday, the Census Bureau officially pegged the resident population of the United States at closing in on 297,900,000. The bureau estimates that with a baby being born every 8 seconds, someone dying every 12 seconds and the nation gaining an immigrant every 31 seconds on average, the population is growing by one person every 14 seconds.

At that rate, the total is expected to top 300 million late this year. But with those projections adjusted monthly and the number of births typically peaking during the summer, the benchmark is likely to be reached about nine months from now.

— The Boy in the Big Housing Bubble