Condos vs. Single Family Residences

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 , Posted by Johnny Fuery at 12:56 AM

Originally Published 2005-08-19 07:08:01

An article in the Journal today indicated that for the first time since their inception, condominiums are now commanding a higher average price nationwide than single family homes. It went on to debate whether this was a side-effect of housing market froth from amateur invest-and-flip gamblers (my word, not the journalists') or a natural evolution in the tastes of home-buying Americans. I recall a phrase similar to "the average household looks a lot more like the cast of Friends than Ozzie and Harriet" these days. Or, at least, wants to be.

I think there's another point worth making about this. Condos are very popular in the most expensive areas of the country -- Miami, Manhattan, Los Angeles, San Francisco -- and this has a tendency to push the national average much higher. The reality in these cities is that no one has been able to afford a single family residence for quite some time. This means more condos are being built, nuclear families are leaving, and there simply are far fewer of those high list price single family residences available. More supply at extremely high prices inevitably brings up the average.

The social impact of the TV show Friends definitely surprises me. Life imitating art imitating life... Trendy LA/NY types mass marketed their twixter lifestyles for ten years and here we are with expensive condos in Minneapolis (also mentioned in the WSJ article).

I'm not sure there's any real estate or business advice here, but it sure is fascinating.

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