Mimi Ito sent me word of Zillow, another online Geographic Information System (GIS). This time you can idle away your hours by finding out how much homes in neighborhoods are worth. Overhead views (including satellite) and house by house estimates mean you can find out just how much the bubble says you’re worth or just how hard it’s going to be for you to get a foot in the door of our “ownership society.”
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Japan’s Real Estate Bubble. A History Lesson

The Nikkei took a tumble this week, but those of us sitting in the US might not have noticed that it had run up from 11,400 or so a year ago to well over 16,000 earlier this month. But it’s still far short of the all time height of 38,957.44 on December 29, 1989. Why is this interesting to me? Two reasons. First, recall that in the collapse of the Nikkei in the early 1990s also spurred on the collapse of the real estate market in Los Angeles as commercial investors pulled out. Second, the collapse of the Nikkei was paralleled by the collapse of Japan’s housing market, as the International Herald Tribune reminds us. Neither stock market nor real estate prices go upward forever. 14 years after Japan’s housing market burst, it still hasn’t recovered. Obviously I need to do some more research into this condition though. An powerful country’s stock market and real estate market goes bust, and yet it keeps on going. 5 years ago our stock market went bust, but an artificial housing boom fueled by low interest rates and questionable lending practices helped the U. S. economy keep going. But what happens if that goes away? What then?

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Storm Damage in Westhampton

I took this set of photographs back in the early 1990s—probably in 1993—while visiting a friend on Long Island. Shot in good old TRI-X, these images document the damage done by the The Great Nor’easter of December 11, 1992 and the subsequent Superstorm of March 13, 1993 to the homes on the Westhampton barrier island. You don’t need hurricanes to wreak havoc.

 house on westhampton process_kv_2002.07.14_f35e8more here
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Broadband 2.0’s Consequences for Cities

Over at my netpublics research blog, I have a lengthy post reflecting on the consequences of broadband 2.0 for cities.

If you are interested in the consequences of telecommuting, the future of wired and wireless connections, or have just bought overpriced property in a run down area of the city (read: get out now), take a look.

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New home sales were down 11% in November, the biggest drop in ten years. The number of homes for sale rose 3% to a 4.9 month supply, the highest since December 1996. Is this the beginning of the end? Read the story at the New York Times.

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