Category Archives: Housing

U.S. Lifestyle Rankings: The Best Places To Live In 2022

The 10 Best Places to Live in the U.S. in 2022-2023:

1. Huntsville, Alabama
2. Colorado Springs, Colorado
3. Green Bay, Wisconsin
4. Boulder, Colorado
5. San Jose, California
6. Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina
7. Fayetteville, Arkansas
8. Portland, Maine
9. Sarasota, Florida
10. San Francisco

Housing costs are rising fast and there aren’t enough homes on the market nationwide to meet demand, and anyone looking to move is acutely aware of the competition and high cost to buy or rent a home. The Best Places to Live rankings factor in how the cost of living compares to the area’s median household income, but U.S. News & World Report also broke out the data into its own ranking.

Housing: Why U.S. Homes Are So Expensive (CNBC)

Prices for the American dream home have skyrocketed. The U.S. housing market has been an unlikely beneficiary from Covid-19. The pandemic encouraged city dwellers to move to the suburbs as families looked for home offices and bigger yards.

Segments: 00:00 – Why the U.S. is facing a housing shortage (May 2021) 12:37 – How suburban sprawl shapes the U.S. economy (February 2022) 25:49 – How did rent become so unaffordable in the U.S. (December 2021) 34:46 – Is the U.S. in a housing bubble? (September 2021)

“Everybody expected housing to really sort of dry up with the rest of the economy,” said National Association of Home Builders CEO Jerry Howard. “And in fact, the opposite has happened. People who have been sort of scared out of the cities by the pandemic.”

With homeowners unwilling to sell, a record low supply of homes for sale has forced buyers into intense bidding wars. According to the National Association of Realtors, the U.S. has under built its housing needs by at least 5.5 million units over the past 20 years. That’s a stark comparison to the previous housing bubble in 2008 when overbuilding was the issue. Higher costs for land, labor and building materials including lumber have also impacted homebuilders.

However, according to most experts, the market is shaping up to look more like a boom rather than a bubble. “We say bubble because we can’t believe how much prices have gone up,” CNBC real estate correspondent Diana Olick said. “A bubble tends to be something that’s inflated that could burst at any minute and change and that’s not really the case here.” And America’s suburbs are sprawling again.

Over the 20th century, real estate developers built large tracts of single-family homes outside of major cities. The builders were following mortgage underwriting standards first introduced by the Federal Housing Administration in the 1930s. Over the century, those guidelines created housing market conditions that explicitly shut out many minorities. Experts say it is possible to update these old building codes to create equity while fixing some, but not all of the problems of American suburbia.

In 2021, single family housing starts rose to 1.123 million, the highest since 2006, according to the National Association of Home Builders, however, options for prospective homebuyers remain lean. Experts say the problems of America’s housing market relate to past policy decisions. In particular, they say restrictive zoning codes are limiting housing supply.

Previews: Architectural Review – April 2022

Ibavi | AAU Anastas | Taller Mauricio Rocha | Grafton | Building Beyond Borders + BC Architects and Studies | Sebastián Arquitectos | Fernand Pouillon | Dimitris Pikionis

If you have purchased an issue and are having trouble with your order, please contact our customer services team on customerservicesteam@emap.com

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AR April 2022

‘A great deal of human history is told in stone alone’ writes Arianne Shahvisi, ’what is carved in stone is a hard, enduring message to the future’. Messages etched onto stone walls and tablets tell us of a past literally writ in stone, but the rocks we plunder from the Earth’s crust can also help us build a liveable future. The April issue of the AR examines stone as an architectural and urban material, digs into the political landscape it is extracted from and explores the weight of cultural and social meanings it holds. This issue features projects by IBAVI, Building Beyond Borders, Mauricio Rocha, Grafton Architects, Fernand Pouillon, Demetris Pikionis, and contributions by Steve Webb, Tomoki Kato, Nami Ogura, Nadi Abusaada, Perdita Phillips, Pierre Bidaud, and many, many more.

The front cover of the issue features Tito Mouraz’s Open Space Office series, where the lithic violence of stone creation is frozen and silent in the quarry, the detritus of human extraction feeble and tiny in comparison.

Stone

Keynote: Stone age, Steve Webb
Social housing, Mallorca, Spain, IBAVI, Rafael Gómez-Moriana
Foundations of empire, Arianne Shahvisi
City portrait: Jerusalem, Israel-Palestine, Nadi Abusaada
Case study: Analogy pavilion, AAU Anastas
Case study: St Mary of the Resurrection Abbey extension, AAU Anastas
Lithic love, Perdita Phillips
Museo Anahuacalli extension, Mexico City, Mexico, Taller Mauricio Rocha, Juan Carlos Cano
Rock-hewn churches in Ethiopia, Tarn Philipp
Town House, Kingston, and Marshall Building, LSE, London, United Kingdom, Grafton Architects, Stephen Parnell
Outrage: Colonial legacies of concrete, Mohamed Ismail and Caitlin Mueller
Revisit: Climat de France, Algiers, Algeria, Fernand Pouillon, Brittany Utting and Daniel Jacobs
Women’s house, Ouled Merzoug, Morocco, Building Beyond Borders + BC Architects and Studies, Lina Meskine and Anouar Ahdaf
In the Japanese rock garden, Tomoki Kato and Nami Ogura
Reputations: Dimitris Pikionis, Freddie Phillipson
Village and chapel renovations, Ruesta, Spain, Sebastián Arquitectos, Elena Lacilla Larrodé
The stonemason, Pierre Bidaud

Architecture: The 2022 AIA Housing Awards Revealed

The American Institute of Architects has revealed the winners of the 2022 Housing Awards. The 14 projects span single-family, affordable housing, and specialized housing projects, and include new construction, renovations, and restorations.

Affordable Housing: Is Modular The Answer?

Cities around the world are facing an affordable housing shortage – and the Covid-19 pandemic has only worsened the crisis. A 2021 report revealed 88 out of 92 major cities are considered unaffordable. The least affordable of them is Hong Kong, where the median house price is more than 20 times the annual median household income.  

But there is a potential solution that is garnering attention: factory-built homes. These houses – also known as modular homes – are constructed in controlled conditions and can take just a week or two to build.   

“We can build 27 Top Hat homes for every one brick and mortar traditionally built house,’ said Jordan Rosenhaus, who is the CEO of modular housing factory, TopHat.  “So, over the next week, we’ll finish approximately 10 houses, that’s just our production program for now. That can ramp up”.

So can this innovation solve the housing crisis? Watch the video above to learn more.  

Housing: Why Rents Are Rising In The U.S. (CNBC)

Fresh numbers from the fall of 2021 suggest that rents will increase at a rapid pace in the coming years. That’s a problem for Americans; many spend 30% or more of their income on rent. A decade-long slowdown in house building is coming to a close, which could help renters.

But the new developments in construction are generally for high-end and luxury apartment units. Experts say the market conditions are pushing people further away from their jobs and weighing on the economy writ large. Market indicators suggest that rent hikes are coming in 2022.

Average rents for a one-bedroom apartment in the booming suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona, have more than doubled year over year, according to data from Apartment Guide. Meanwhile, rents in Manhattan have reached fresh records as life returns to the cities, according to Zumper.

The problems aren’t confined to the usual suspects, however. Rents for single-family homes across the country jumped more than 9% on average in August 2021 from the prior year, according to a report from the analytics firm CoreLogic.

Rents are moving fastest in the buzzy enclaves across the South and West. For Maria Arredondo, a teacher based in Austin, Texas, a sudden rent hike of nearly $400 forced her to make a move. “If I had signed the lease … it would be taking a lot of my savings. And so I decided to move to a new building, losing about 150 square feet,” she told CNBC. Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics said the strains on the housing construction market were building well before the pandemic took hold in the states.

“There’s a lot of evidence that the lack of housing closer to where the demand is and urban cores is having a meaningful negative consequence on long-term economic growth.“ Generous monetary and fiscal policies have juiced demand for goods and services coming out of the pandemic. All that extra money sloshing around the economy is bubbling up into the rent. The fresh demand is giving investors a reason to jump into the market.

Experts say that’s boosting desperately needed supply. But there’s a catch: The homes being built are priced into the high end of the market. As a result, the evidence suggests that renters will be paying more for shelter this decade.

Tours: Off The Grid ‘Pine Flat Lodge’ In Tasmania

Located on the east coast of Tasmania, Australia, Pine Flat Lodge emerges from the environment as a place of retreat and immersion. The off the grid lodge is proposed as a minimal insertion within the landscape, a simple gesture that holds the space between the pines and the expansive view beyond the site. Imbued with a sense of belonging and placemaking, the off the grid lodge was approached in a deliberate manner, with focus placed on the conservation and rehabilitation of the land.

As a response, the architecture and interior design of the lodge accentuates an outward perspective, blurring the lines between indoors and out. The off the grid lodge is comprised of a series of modules within a continuous envelope, which in turn opens out to the landscape. The communal spaces are separated by decks and continue the structure’s discourse with the external environment, while the sleeping quarters represent an intended moment of quiet and retreat. The lodge tour also highlights Pine Flat Lodge’s solar power and rainwater collection, a physical reminder to visitors to be mindful when experiencing the space and landscape.

When designing a lodge, especially one that operates off grid, sustainability must inform each component. The material of the cabin is motivated by the surrounding context – sustainably sourced timber is used throughout the off the grid lodge. The structure utilises resources in an accountable way by pursuing efficient use of materials and minimising carbon footprint while supporting local craftsman. Bespoke details feature throughout the off the grid lodge, celebrating craft and the natural environment in an authentic and sustainable manner.

Views: Hong Kong Builds Housing For 2.5 Million

Hong Kong will develop a new metropolis in its northern part to accommodate 2.5 million people and better integrate itself into the overall development of the country, according to the annual policy address delivered Wednesday by Chief Executive of China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Carrie Lam.

Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, is a city and special administrative region of China on the eastern Pearl River Delta in South China.

Urban Views: Living In China’s Megacities (Video)

More than 60 percent of China’s population of 1.4 billion currently lives in cities. Within a decade, the share of urban dwellers is expected to increase to 75 percent. Construction is booming and competition for residential land is fierce.

But the right to live in a city in China is conditional. Authorities want their modern cities to be peopled with well-educated, highly-qualified or politically well-connected residents. As a result, certain standards have to be met to be eligible for a modern, urban home. Only members of China’s political classes and the financially successful have a hope of qualifying. Yet more than half of the people who live in cities are so-called “migrant workers.” They come from rural communities and have no official rights to settle in cities. They are there to work. With no proper rights, they are merely tolerated while they serve as merchants, servants, waitstaff, cleaners, construction workers and tradespeople.

But while they are indispensible to daily life in the cities, they are unable to afford their exorbitant rents. This documentary looks at how and where these workers live, and asks whether middle and working class Chinese even figure in the official vision of shiny, high-tech cities. The filmmakers also look at what happens to those who oppose official plans, or stand in the way of the building boom.

Analysis: Why Lumber Prices Have Boomed (WSJ)

Demand for lumber has skyrocketed during the pandemic, sending prices to all-time highs. This video explains what’s driving the lumber boom, who’s profiting, and why those growing the trees aren’t reaping the benefits. Illustration: Liz Ornitz/WSJ