Monday, November 28, 2011

Social Market Housing for the USA: Dream or Nightmare? |

Social Market Housing for the USA: Dream or Nightmare? |
Imagine a future America where the home ownership rate climbs from the current 65%1 to 87%2. Libertarians as well as many social democrats would be cheering. Imagine that this rate was achieved by the state itself acting as the builder of 88%3 of the housing. Imagine also that the state imposes rules on home purchases to favor first time buyers and young families. “Progressives”, increasingly tilted towards the unmarried and childless, would bristile. Imagine racial diversity rules that restrict who you can sell your home to. Time for libertarians to shudder.

Most Americans would probably say such a concept is “Utopian” but serious policy makers should reflect that the word “Utopia” literally means “nowhere”. But Social Market Housing is alive and well in Singapore...There is no problem with runaway maintenance fees. HDB owners do not pay associations can build an HDB block next to a private condominium and you cannot tell which is which...

When you step outside the American way of doing things you see that there are some alternative approaches being tried in other nations.


Anonymous said...

According to Scott Adams, the creator the comic-strip "Dilbert":

"What we need is Cheapatopia. Regular readers know that Cheapatopia is my name for a future planned city that is designed from the ground up to be inexpensive and green while also providing an awesome lifestyle. I've described that concept before, but today I'm overlaying the employment question to make it all one comprehensive solution to every problem in the world. Literally." (November 21, 2011)

"Cheapatopia is a hypothetical city, designed from scratch to be an absurdly cheap place to live with a ridiculously high quality of life….Today I will discuss some assumptions. The first and biggest assumption is that the era of ridiculous consumption is over, at least for your lifetime. If we want universal healthcare, and a decent standard of living for the exploding population of seniors, the average household will have to learn how to make do with less. But in doing so, there is no reason we can't be happier at the same time, so long as we do it right. Cheapatopia puts a big emphasis on entertainment and social interaction...For example, in Cheapatopia, no one would ever again hire a babysitter or put their dog in the kennel while they are on vacation. That sort of thing would all be done by neighbors, and you would know those neighbors well." (July 13, 2009)

Anonymous said...

from the story:

"There is no problem with runaway maintenance fees. HDB [Housing Development Board] owners do not pay associations dues. Their elevators are maintained through local real estate taxes so monthly costs are very predictable. In the year 2010 the average Singaporean household paid $145 USD a month in property tax. This is less than the $216 average USD American Condo owners paid in condo fees at the time of the 2000 census."

Although government may have more power in absolute terms, private enterprise is much more efficient at extracting money -- especially usurious fees -- from homeowners.

The author fails to mention that in addition to the "$216 average USD American Condo owners paid in condo fees" per month, American condo owners pay property taxes too.