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Why Are Cities (Still) So Expensive? - Freakonomics


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There's nothing quite like a good dose of sweeping generalisations to start your day, and boyo, doesn't housepricecrash provide them in abundance.

Do you think cities will continue to have the same appeal into the future.....or will some cities improve whilst others decline....does a good place make it good because of the money it attracts from global Investors?

Do people move in to partake in the sharing of the cherry pie.....however it was earned, wherever it came from? ;)

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Do you think cities will continue to have the same appeal into the future.....or will some cities improve whilst others decline....does a good place make it good because of the money it attracts from global Investors?

Do people move in to partake in the sharing of the cherry pie.....however it was earned, wherever it came from? ;)

I think for cities to retain their appeal can be divided into two or more factors. The main one is employment, the second is lifestyle, the third, which is closely related to the second, is convenience. 

Given the fact that technology has rendered the first factor redundant, then logically, the only legitimate reason for cities to continue to retain their appeal is lifestyle. If you could work remotely AND live in the city, your needs have immediately changed since space and cost are a major consideration in the new work from home world. Why on earth would anybody in their right mind stay in  city like London, assuming they worked from home and had to live in a tiny, overpriced apartment or HMO? Under those circumstances it's a no brainer to move away. However, if the amenities offered by city life outweigh the discomfort of poor accommodation, which undoubtedly for some, it does, then staying put might still seem acceptable. I would caveat the former by saying that given the rate at which theatres, restaurants, cafes and other public leisure venues are closing, then that marginal appeal might tip the balance. 

In summary, the only incentives one might have to stay in a city are: provision/retro fitting to transform or create from scratch Sci-Fi-like drone World smart cities or in legacy cities a reduction in population or an massive increase in housing infrastructure provision. Can't see that happening in London since the housing market is fubar'ed. We've also tried the rural satellite utopia thing with the likes of Milton Keynes or welwyn garden city, though technology wasn't as mature or far reaching back then, so maybe it could swing that way after all. Who knows? 

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I think for cities to retain their appeal can be divided into two or more factors. The main one is employment, the second is lifestyle, the third, which is closely related to the second, is convenience. 

Given the fact that technology has rendered the first factor redundant, then logically, the only legitimate reason for cities to continue to retain their appeal is lifestyle. If you could work remotely AND live in the city, your needs have immediately changed since space and cost are a major consideration in the new work from home world. Why on earth would anybody in their right mind stay in  city like London, assuming they worked from home and had to live in a tiny, overpriced apartment or HMO? Under those circumstances it's a no brainer to move away. However, if the amenities offered by city life outweigh the discomfort of poor accommodation, which undoubtedly for some, it does, then staying put might still seem acceptable. I would caveat the former by saying that given the rate at which theatres, restaurants, cafes and other public leisure venues are closing, then that marginal appeal might tip the balance. 

In summary, the only incentives one might have to stay in a city are: provision/retro fitting to transform or create from scratch Sci-Fi-like drone World smart cities or in legacy cities a reduction in population or an massive increase in housing infrastructure provision. Can't see that happening in London since the housing market is fubar'ed. We've also tried the rural satellite utopia thing with the likes of Milton Keynes or welwyn garden city, though technology wasn't as mature or far reaching back then, so maybe it could swing that way after all. Who knows? 

Fair and relevant points.....down to each individual to weight up the positives and negatives.....what we don't want is a place where the very rich live in their gated communities along with the poor sharing HMO working for the wealthy or living in as servants and nannies....you can see communities in other parts of the world like that.....massive inequality.

Like highs and lows in share prices, only sell if need the money or sell if can see better opportunities to prosper elsewhere.....as they say, sell high, buy low.;)

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I think for cities to retain their appeal can be divided into two or more factors. The main one is employment, the second is lifestyle, the third, which is closely related to the second, is convenience.

There are people who like the City life, people who like the Country life, and people who like the suburban small town life...

City life people live in their small but well-appointed flat, eat out ever night, walk in the parks, go to the theatre, concerts, galleries, have networks of like-minded friends. They are not going to be happy moving out to Milton Keynes.

People often say on here, prices are set at the margins. It doesn't take many people giving up on the city and moving out, to reduce demand just a little, to reduce prices just a little, and people will move in who previously would have felt it was just that bit much for them.

At the end of the day for all the complaining, people would rather live in a Greenfell-style clad tower block and read aspirational magazines about restoring a cottage deep in the Welsh borders... they could sell their flat and buy the cottage outright, but they generally don't choose to.

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There are people who like the City life, people who like the Country life, and people who like the suburban small town life...

City life people live in their small but well-appointed flat, eat out ever night, walk in the parks, go to the theatre, concerts, galleries, have networks of like-minded friends. They are not going to be happy moving out to Milton Keynes.

People often say on here, prices are set at the margins. It doesn't take many people giving up on the city and moving out, to reduce demand just a little, to reduce prices just a little, and people will move in who previously would have felt it was just that bit much for them.

At the end of the day for all the complaining, people would rather live in a Greenfell-style clad tower block and read aspirational magazines about restoring a cottage deep in the Welsh borders... they could sell their flat and buy the cottage outright, but they generally don't choose to.

Quite theres an age to everything as well.

I know someone who in their mid thirtys, doctor and single decided to sell up the flat in Islington and move to rural Cornwall.

3 years later she was back and regularly says, what was i thinking. Apparently living in a village where everyone has kids or grandkids is not that exciting, no matter how good the view from your third bedroom is.

If she was 65 and married with grown up kids, might have worked out.

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