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VARbuzz: Brains, cash, and water — what affects housing?

Vegas is a nightmare. (Housing-wise, anyway.) Washington is doing pretty well. Roanoke is bogged down with inventory; NoVA can’t get enough.

We may talk about nationwide housing numbers, but we all know the reality is that (duh!) all real estate is local.

But what makes one area a housing boomtown and one a forest of “for sale” signs?

Does education matter? Does income? Does distance to the ocean?

Yes, yes, yes. That’s some of what Edward Glaeser found when he studied the numbers; Bloomberg has the story.

For example:

On average, if the share of adults with college degrees was 10 percentage points higher in 2000, price growth was 15 percent higher over the past decade.


Holding education constant, 10 percent higher family incomes in 2000 are associated with about 4 percent lower price growth between 2001 and 2011.

Check it out — it’s an interesting read.