Sad but true, I believe. Dispersed homes will never recover their “value”.
Economic viability in the future will be five times greater for those living in close proximity in communities that integrate a good deal of what is now all over the map. Another way of saying this: Energy costs are five times greater in dispersion than in denser areas.
Both the dispersed (metrosprawl) model and the commute-by-car, do-everything-by-car models are unsustainable. Ultimately it may be less expensive to redesign and rebuild communities from scratch, than try to continue propping up today’s default sprawl.
This is the underlying reason for the crisis we are in. Remember we said we needed to move to a post-oil economy?
Current efforts to tie recovery to the resuscitation of the automobile and housing markets are unlikely to do more than sputter. Meanwhile the vision of a truly sustainable economy can be found in the thought of thinkers like Christopher Alexander.