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Real Estate, Car Culture, and a Fox

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The latest Esquire (with starlet Megan Fox on cover) has an article by Nate Silver—the blogger behind FiveThirtyEight.com—about the decline of car culture and its possible relation to home prices and urban migration. As gas prices have stayed relatively low after their record spike in summer 2008, Americans have continued to drive less in car-dependent cities. Between October 2004, when gas prices first hit $2 a gallon, and December 2008, when they fell below that threshold, housing values dropped in cities like Vegas (-37 percent), Detroit (-34 percent), and Phoenix (-15 percent), while values in transit-friendly Portland (+19 percent ) and Seattle (+18 percent) rose. And LA? Not mentioned. But according to the Los Angeles Almanac, LA County (not city) dropped 23 percent in roughly the same period. [Esquire, but not available online]