25 June 2008

High Gas Prices Put Crimp in Exurban Life

While I think that the predictions of a rapid decline in far suburbs is premature, it's clear that increases in fuel costs, and hence the cost of commuting have driven some changes in attitudes regarding distant suburbs.

I disagree with land use expert Christopher Leinberger, who says, "Many low-density suburbs and McMansion subdivisions, including some that are lovely and affluent today, may become what inner cities became in the 1960s and '70s - slums characterized by poverty, crime and decay," if just because these McMansion subdivisions were remarkably poorly constructed, and the houses will not survive long enough to become slums.

I would expect, however, that as the exurbs were first into the housing crash, they will be the last out, and the land values won't reach the relative levels that they had to more urban neighborhoods ever again.


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