The housing-market decade nears its end
This decade changed the national perception of homeownership not once but twice. Most of us entered the decade thinking that buying a home was about having a place of our own to live, and probably a good investment besides. Halfway through, many -- many, many -- Americans saw homeownership as a no-lose speculation, an ATM that never ran out of cash, and why buy just one if you could leverage it for three more? And now here we are at the end of the '00s, and I've lost track of how many people have told me that they no longer see real estate as any sort of investment at all.
The bubble years also changed Baltimore's landscape, and those changes weren't erased by the bust. As my colleague Jill Rosen pointed out in a story about notable Baltimore-centric things that happened in the past 10 years, "stainless steel, granite, roof decks and parking pads" came into "such working-class bastions as Canton and Locust Point":
The decorator appointments cracked the neighborhoods' Formstone-encrusted hearts and lured a new breed of city dweller: younger, ambitious, professional.
Longtime residents shook their heads at the endless parade of yuppies and U-Hauls and watched, bewildered, as microbrew pubs replaced corner bars and boutiques moved onto Broadway and the Avenue - our Main Streets.
Just east of downtown, Baltimore's new fashionable neighborhood, Harbor East, was created from whole cloth - that and the imagination of H&S Bakery magnate John Paterakis. High-rise offices. Expensive condominiums. Hotels. Chic stores and restaurants. A movie multiplex.
So much concentrated action and corporate investment mixed with designer bags, fine wine and sushi that it effectively pulled downtown's center of gravity eastward.
As Rosen notes, Baltimore didn't get the multiple new downtown skyscrapers promised during better times -- or at least it hasn't gotten them yet -- but Harbor East is still Harbor East, and all those Canton rehabs are still there, too. (Vacant, perhaps, but there.)
Do you think that change was for the better? What do you expect the city (or 'burbs or the whole state) will look like when the bust is well and truly over? And what do you consider the most notable changes to the local landscape?