Hilarity in Richard Florida’s Who’s Your City?

It’s not so often that one finds a writer so hilariously, unambiguously, obviously wrong as Richard Florida in a passage from Who’s Your City?, which was published in 2008:

[Yale economist Robert] Shiller’s analysis suggests that during the housing boom of the early 2000s, overall housing values appreciated to such a degree that by 2007 they had become completely misaligned with incomes. He predicted that housing prices would fall anywhere from 30 to 50 percent by the end of the decade.

Maybe. But, housing is different from other investments, and for a very simple reason. The primary purpose of investing in a home is not to make money but to have a roof over one’s head. […]

Housing markets seldom adjust through an instantaneous pop.

Oops! Granted, I’m sure Florida’s reasoning sounded better in 2007, when this was probably being written. With a gaff of this magnitude, however, the rest of the book becomes harder to believe, even if I think many of its arguments about the continued importance of cities are fundamentally sound.

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