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Stop Fetishizing Old Homes

“…the real-estate market in the U.S. now resembles the car market in Cuba: A stagnant supply of junkers is being forced into service long after its intended life span.” M. Nolan Gray writes in the Atlantic.

  • How old are homes? “…the median home nationwide is now 39 years old, up nearly 20 percent over the past decade alone. In the northeastern states of New York and Massachusetts, the median is much higher, at 63 and 59, respectively…”
  • Why is this happening? You can thank governments all over the country. “Between apartment bans, strict density limits, and minimum parking requirements, taking an old home and turning it into an apartment building, or even two or three modern townhouses, is in many cases illegal.”

Gray goes on to argue that development is actually the green solution, “Modern homes and apartment buildings are not only far better insulated—they also feature modern HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning) technologies, such that homes can be warmed and cooled without using nearly as much energy as their older counterparts.”

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