A reader sent me an interesting article today from Atlantic Monthly http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200610/american-brains. It’s written by Richard Florida, the George Mason University professor and author of The Rise of the Creative Class. It wasn’t too long ago that academics and think-tank thinkers were championing the idea of Loan Eagles, brainy types who could work anywhere and who would choose to live in splendid isolation in remote parts of the country, writing software code on their laptops while gazing out at the Rockies from their redwood decks. While some of that may be going on, much more intensive growth has occured in what Florida calls “superstar cities.” These include San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, Austin and Denver as well as regions such as the affluent suburbs of Manhattan, Silicon Valley, and the Research Triangle in North Carolina. Many of these places have experienced the brunt of the real estate bubble and home prices there are now softening. Long term, however, they will likely see sustained support for prices as much as older, industrial cities such as Cleveland and Detroit see downward pressure. It’s a megatrend, no doubt.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.