February 15, 2009
Richard Florida, writing about the economy and home ownership, makes an important point (emphasis mine):
As homeownership rates have risen, our society has become less nimble: in the 1950s and 1960s, Americans were nearly twice as likely to move in a given year as they are today. Last year fewer Americans moved, as a percentage of the population, than in any year since the Census Bureau started tracking address changes, in the late 1940s. This sort of creeping rigidity in the labor market is a bad sign for the economy, particularly in a time when businesses, industries, and regions are rising and falling quickly.
I feel like super-flexible, low-hassle housing in big cities is going to be a growth industry. Why can’t I just go and live in New York for six months? I realize that extremely rich people flit around like this all the time. How about something for everybody else? Something like a housing system with buildings in big cities such that it’s easy for you to “swap” your studio in San Francisco for a studio in London.