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The Great Divide Between Affordable And Expensive Cities Is Growing, Here’s Why


There's a growing divide between affordable and expensive cities, as locations that grow outward remain cheap but those hemmed in by geography and zoning get exceedingly pricey, according to research by Issi Romem, chief economist at real estate site BuildZoom.

The developed residential area in Atlanta, as an example, grew more than 200% between 1980 and 2010, and real home values jumped only 14%. Contrast that with the S.F.-San Jose area, where developed land increased by only 30%, and home values spiked 188%, the Wall Street Journal reports.

That trend plays out in many US cities, leaving us with what seems like two unpleasant options—forget about affordability or embrace urban sprawl

“If you don’t let the city grow, you’re going to get prices going upward…and see the middle class being pushed out,” Romem said. [WSJ]