Some Reasons for the Apartment Boom
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In this chapter the recent upsurge in the apartment market is ex amined in more detail and some tentative explanations are offered for its timing. A good deal of literature, dating mainly from the beginning of the 1960's, has attempted to explain the increase in apartment build ing which began in the late 1950's and, as Table 1 demonstrates, shows little sign of slackening.1 In the early 1950's, when analysts were trying to find explanations for the opposite trend, it was commonplace to point to increasing income, combined with a high income elasticity of demand for site area.1 2 It was then believed that only poor people plus a few sophisticated rich city dwellers lived in apartments. Yet, with in come rising rapidly during the 1960's, an increasing number of people were choosing to live in them. Nor was it just that more were joining the ranks of the rich cliff dwellers, because many of the apartments were not even in the central cities. There are, of course, many advan tages to apartment life, but if they are to be used to explain the boom they must be shown to have become more important around 1960, or else people must suddenly have become more aware of them.