Simply building more homes will not solve the Western housing crisis
Oh god don't get me started from Livingston Montana on how utterly, completely, totally wrong that Atlantic article was (seems like we get 1 a year, parachute journalists writing off their summer vacations). Joseph Bullington wrote a terrific piece in High Country News about the local housing situation btw. I do know that the 2nd/3rd homeowners are a huge problem, and we've seen what I saw happen to Telluride in the late 80s, rich people move in, see us all as "backdrop" and "servants" to their vacation, and the whole place goes to hell. Livingston used to be a place where you'd wander into the Bar and Grille (run by Russ Chatham, writer, painter, chef) and Jim Harrison would be holding court at one end of the bar, and you could hang out with Tim the plumber, from one of the old ranch families, and we were all equals. And equally interesting. Those days are gone, and I mourn them all the time.
Excellent analysis of a market gone off the rails.
One of the factors that has un-normalized the data is the number of people who constitute a family that occupies a family home. Our ancestors in Durango had many people per home. I now have two children, each with a spouse and a home ...and no grandchildren. That throws off the relationship of population and homes, just as second and third homes does. The long-term effect of the lower birth rate and the smaller family unit will eventually help with the demand side if you consider only natives, BUT the number of international immigrants and American amenity migrants completely overwhelms that trend in the rural west.
Colorado's Gallagher Amendment, passed in 1982, fuels the market disruption by subsidizing high-end homebuilding in our resort areas. Home owners' assessment rate is one-quarter of that of vacant land, farms, and industry. The pressure has been increasing for 41 years.
Farmington, NM had a boom in the late 50s and 60s. The answer was several developers developed track home in housing subdivisions. Examples of this include Highland View, Beck Land Hills, Cherry Hills, etc. These were simply 11,000 square feet flat roof homes with 3 bedrooms and 1 or 2 bathrooms. You could put down $99 and your payments was $69 a month with a 30-year mortgage. I believe that something like this is possible today. A simple ranch style home in a subdivision. But for some reason no one wants to do something like this. They want to build semi-mansions that sell for almost a million dollars. The money people want to see everybody in rentals so they can jack up the price whenever they want. Homeownership is the only chance the lower income citizens every had to have financial stability in their lives. Norman
A couple of points; Telluride has had a RE Transfer tax for at least 35 years and that has not solved the problem. We built there in 1985 and tradesman were coming from as far away as Montrose! In San Diego, the median house price passed the million dollar mark last month. Too, in San Diego the permit costs and regulations are pegged at 40% of the total cost! There is a proposed RV park with a tiny home village included on Trimble Lane in Durango that is being fought tooth and nail by Dalton Ranchers. Mobile home parks and tiny home villages are the immediate answer to affordable housing. In fact, there are three mobile home parks that were purchased by tenants under Colorado law. There is no easy answer.
I guess it doesnt matter what the people of lower incomes (ordinary people) think, want or believe. All that matters is what the ones with "disposable" incomes want. Right now its these various western states - I assume that if the Eastern or Southern states become bright shiny places, they will "gather" there. So do the rest of us - indeed VOTERS - allow this to continue until the entire country is destroyed? The bottom line is our supposed "representatives" need to get on the stick & start taxing the presently untaxed! And until we voters sit up and take notice and DEMAND that? The destruction will continue. Climate change will happen one way or another.