Real Estate 30 Jan 2007 08:56 pm

Housing Inequality

by Sean Hackbarth

Mansion

Inequality today is a pejorative. It’s discouraged even when there’s no explanation for why it’s bad. Bill Gates will probably grow his wealth much faster than me with the release of Windows Vista. His bigger wallet doesn’t harm me. BusinessWeek.com has a story on the most unequal real estate markets in the U.S. The winner is Miami where the top 1% of homes are are 6.5 times the price of the median home. The narrowest span is San Jose, CA, the heart of Silicon Valley. But there even an ordinary home costs a fortune. So what does this tell us? One possibility is places with greater home price inequality get that way because people from a wide range of income levels seek housing there. It could be a diversity effect.

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