The Interamerican Development Bank has just published a work by Andrés G. Blanco, Vicente Fretes Cibils and Andrés F. Muñoz on the relevance of rental housing for Latin America. The document includes a description of the problems of housing in the region and the potential benefits of rental units; the current state of rental housing in the area; and policy recommendations regarding offer, demand and juridical framework.
Defining the volumes you see from the urban space can sometimes mean drawing elements that have no usable floor area, as walls. A part of the most interesting spaces in historic Paris, mainly in the areas with “hotels particuliers” is defined through walls hiding from the view courtyards or gardens much bigger than the public space. The same applies to Toledo or Segovia. Muslims cities have long used this principle, often with less elaborate walls. The transition from public to private space is enriched; drawing just the big built up volumes is somehow cheating.
Starting where we left it on the last post, on how there are new ideas to deliver internet sales by physical means (drones and other contraptions…) we have in our streets things that, from an economic rationality viewpoint, would be considered by many as wrecks. This wiepoint implies that rationality is a fully objective matter, and that it is shared by a significant portion of the population. We have phone boots (but for a limited number, real wrecks), mail boxes (slightly more used, nowadays when you need one you are in a hard time to remember the last you saw), press kiosks (more in flux and evolution that really dissapearing)… and the clear example that rationality is just subjective: lotery kiosks. The one portrayed is run by ONCE, the Spanish National Association of Blind People, who have been runing a popular lotery for decades. Besides the emotional impact of this particular group, in fact buying a ticket for a lottery is an economically irrational purchase, but one that really happens, usually out of an impulse, and this is made easier by being on a street location. These 1 sq m spots seem quite relevant, it just remains an open issue if they are stronger or not than online poker and other noveltiesin which to risk your hard-earned currency.
There are three main ways to get data on real estate prices: conducting a study based on standard assumptions (usually comparing with neighbouring properties is factored), using listing prices or using the amount that the legal professional authorised by the Government to record the deed. This legal professional is a Civil Law Notary in civil law countries as Spain or France, or their former colonies. The third way is, assuming there is no tax cheat, the most precise, but it is not universally available, or its geographical detail is not of use; for instance, in Spain the General Notaries Council (www.notariado.org) publishes data by province. The geographical scope is relevant, as the real estate values depend a lot on location, and mixing in the same bag high price neighbourhoods with low price exurbs results in meaningless averages.
In France notaries (www.immobilier.notaires.fr) do publish data with a detailed geographical scope (census blocks). This is good to understand recent activity. But a substantial part of the land has such a reduced amount of sales that data is not representative (or simply does not exist, just think of depressed rural areas with no sales for years). This does not prevent the fact that there is a demand for some kind of data, so it is estimated by a multifactor system, in which listing prices and realtors opinions are factored (www.meilleursagents.com).
In the US the fact that there is a continental size nation with 50 legal systems has led to nationwide portals as www.trulia.com, which estimate prices for a substantial part of the country, even if a large part of the central states, as Texas or Louisiana, are not rendered.
Taking as a reference data from www.meilleursagents.com, www.trulia.com and www.idealista.com for Paris, New York and Madrid, with an exchange rate of 0,72 € by $, and considering that 1 sq m is equal to 10,7 sq ft, you can see that the more expensive areas of Paris (rue du Bac, for instance) are over 14.200 €/sq m, those of Madrid (Recoletos) are around 11.000 €/sq m, and those of New York (Flatiron District) are in the region of the 16.000 €/sq m. Any need for more reasons to understand why the urban fabric of the core areas of successful cities has such an inertia?.
Recent posts have been a vision on what you can buy with a given amount of money in different European cities, with a plan to show what you get for that money, are a reminder of how relative money’s value is. Using the same method for the 48 coterminous and Balearic Spanish provincial capitals, and using data about second-hand housing from idealista.com, you can see that the crisis context, which really has touched the whole country, has different impacts.
Sure, average real estate prices for a sq m of housing have fallen in all the capitals, but there is a difference between Barcelona (-7%) or Madrid (-10%) and Guadalajara (-27,4%) or Tarragona (-22,2%). Despite these corrections, the hierarchical order of cities largely remains: San Sebastian is still the most expensive capital (high per capita revenue, small territory, attractive city), while areas with lower revenues or activity are usually in lower price ranges.
According to January 2014 data from idealista.com, in Madrid and Barcelona 200.000 € would buy you about 60 sq m, while in Lleida you could get some 200 sq m, and in Caceres some 160. It is worth reminding that per capita revenue in Caceres is almost half that of Madrid.
It is also worth reminding that these are average prices for the whole area of each municipality, hiding strong variations among neighbourhoods. And keep also in mind that prices reflect a balance between offer and demand, as real estate bubbles have shown so well.
In Paris city (not considering suburbs), according to logic-immo.com, 200.000 € would let you pay usually less than 15 sq m. In some cases you can even reach 25, even 30 sq m, in less central districts, but it seems uncommon. This is the cost of a very liked city, not just for tourism.
According to funda.nl, the Dutch realtors association portal, there is a large offer of homes for sale in Amsterdam under 200.000 €. The Dutch market is not at its highest moment, with prices falling during 2013. In the most central areas the offer is made up of flats under the 50 sq m. Out of the inner ring surfaces are often over 80 or 90 sq m, a surface that is also reached north of the Ij river, already with individual homes.
What is the euro for? Among other things, you can compare the cost of items across cities in Europe. As housing goes, 200.000 € can buy a home, but where and at which surface?
In Madrid, according to idealista.com, there is a relevant offer at such price. In the most central areas there are homes of different areas, usually under 75 sq m; the construction year of the building and the conservation state are relevant. In peripheral areas you can reach larger surfaces, especially among the recently built housing stock still in the market.
One of these ideas you sometimes hear among architects is that of making expressive façades, that can change over time and situations. Which is rather close to what you would see changing your point of view, seeing the street from a higher position, seeing the façade bricks as a floor surface. Trees change over seasons, there are cars (or not)… but this is an un common view, hard to find (you need a window over the street…)