One of the great strengths of the United States is that property is not, by comparison with other developed nations, an over-speculative enterprise. Most of us buy a house, and it increases respectably in value but not spectacularly. In Britain, by contrast, you buy a basement flat in a rundown slum for a quarter-million pounds, put a cat flap in the back door and sell it as “extensively remodeled” for half-a-million pounds. I write often about the demographic decline in Europe — the lack of children — but quite a bit of that has to do with the space constraints. If you’re living in a small apartment, as many Germans do, do you really want three kids clogging up the joint? America is one of the cheapest places in the developed world to buy a four-bedroom house on a one-acre lot.
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
Mark Steyn in National Review: