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Old 03-23-2014, 11:15 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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It does seem there's been a trend in denser urban areas from small-scale density: rowhouses and small multifamily (either apartment buildings or just two/three family) to the extremes: single family detached mixed with big apartment buildings.
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:42 AM
 
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I'm seeing that on my coast too. There aren't many big skyscrapery projects going on right now, but there are a lot of small-lot houses being built, mostly in the 1000-1600 sf range, and they are selling like hotcakes even though their price points are about the same as houses with three times the acreage and twice the square footage located in new suburban districts. The difference is that they're located in walkable, successful neighborhoods close to thousands of jobs--the location adds value. Not everyone still thinks they need an enormous great room or sixteen bedrooms to call "home."
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Old 03-23-2014, 01:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by wburg View Post
I'm seeing that on my coast too. There aren't many big skyscrapery projects going on right now, but there are a lot of small-lot houses being built, mostly in the 1000-1600 sf range, and they are selling like hotcakes even though their price points are about the same as houses with three times the acreage and twice the square footage located in new suburban districts. The difference is that they're located in walkable, successful neighborhoods close to thousands of jobs--the location adds value. Not everyone still thinks they need an enormous great room or sixteen bedrooms to call "home."
Houses in an city are always smaller and more expensive per square foot. Suburban houses can be located near jobs too. In Chicago the loop only is the 2nd biggest area of jobs in the state, there are more jobs out in the burbs total than within the city of Chicago. I would love to know who they sell to cause locally there is an pattern of tearing down old housing in hot areas to build apartments and rental units to rent out to yuppies.
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Old 03-23-2014, 01:27 PM
 
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The other thing is we tend to give developers huge parcels or an entire block to develop at once. Before people had smaller lots to work with.
Yes and no. Most blocks within a city were built with housing about the same time more or less. I grew up in an 100 year old building that was almost identical to the one next door(there were differences but it had the same floor plan turned the opposite way.).
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Old 03-23-2014, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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Yes and no. Most blocks within a city were built with housing about the same time more or less. I grew up in an 100 year old building that was almost identical to the one next door(there were differences but it had the same floor plan turned the opposite way.).
My whole neighborhood is pretty similar in that way. But the commercial district was built at the same time in a different decade and things are wildly different. Now the developer just seems to build in bug building instead of a couple of distinct ones. With the same materials and everything. Creating a wall of boring. Particularly in the huge master planned developments. (I'm looking at you Stapleton).
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Old 03-23-2014, 04:14 PM
 
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Because they CAN be. Advances in science and engineering make it possible.
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Old 03-23-2014, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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The price premium for housing near the core seems to be mostly true of larger cities though. I'd say the prices are pretty even here for suburban vs core. It's not that the core is a ghetto or anything, though it is more working class+yuppies vs middle class families in outer suburbs. I think it's just that being a smaller city, commutes are pretty short, even from the outer suburban developments.

Anyways... it's true that new developments seem to have more units built in a single development, both for greenfield and infill. I suspect part of it is regulations for infill which are easier to deal with if you have a big project. I'd probably expect buildings to take up more land as they get taller, so if you have intensification, it would make sense for buildings to get bigger, but still, most cities aren't that dense that the only way to densify further is skyscrapers, most could still densify with 1-10 unit developments but instead have 100+ unit developments.

As for greenfield, I suspect that at least part of it is faster total growth. Right now, Kitchener is growing by around 30,000 people per decade vs 6,000 per decade in the early 20th century, and in Waterloo the difference is even bigger. The difference was also big in Toronto. However, it's not a difference of a developer building a few adjacent houses vs a few dozen, but more like a few vs a few hundred, if not a few thousand.

And if you're going to mention economies of scale, why wasn't economies of scale more of a factor in the early 20th, and especially 19th century?
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Old 03-23-2014, 04:24 PM
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Location: Foot of the Rockies
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I'm not seeing the size difference. As for the one big building across the street, you can also find old apartment buildings that size, too,
I don't see the difference either, other than architectural style.
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Old 03-23-2014, 04:31 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Houses in an city are always smaller and more expensive per square foot.
I stated that, to [or in square foot per land] but was told that's not true of Denver. Maybe newer, somewhat decentralized don't have much of a gradient? Some rust belt probably the reverse pattern: housing per square foot is cheap on average going towards the center.
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Old 03-23-2014, 04:35 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 25 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
I stated that, to [or in square foot per land] but was told that's not true of Denver. Maybe newer, somewhat decentralized don't have much of a gradient? Some rust belt probably the reverse pattern: housing per square foot is cheap on average going towards the center.
Who told you that? Not me, I don't think.
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