A Series of Essays on the Urban Future
The Future of Cities
From the end of World War II until 1970, owner-occupied housing was broadly affordable across the entire country. The standard measure for measuring affordability —the price-to-income ratio— was at about 2.8 in 1950, 2.5 in 1960, 2.6 in 1970, 3.4 in 1980, and 4.2 in 2020. This meant that, to a large extent, factors other than housing, such as climate, amenities, and job and economic opportunities, drove migration, which builders were in a position to respond to. However, as shown in Table 1, a number of metros on the coasts now have much higher ratios today, evidence that supply has not kept up with demand.
This book is being published as a series, with permission of the American Enterprise Institute. Each week a new chapter will be published, with links to each chapter.
Click or tap a link below to read or download each chapter. (PDFs open in new tab or window)
Tobias Peter is the director of research of the AEI Housing Center.
Edward J. Pinto is the director of the AEI Housing Center.
Read the Series:
I. The Big Picture for Global Geography
II. The Variety of Urban Experiences
III. The Policy Agenda