The New York Times published an article recently, describing how Tokyo is still affordable because it’s chosen growth instead of gentrification. The Big City Where Housing Is Still Affordable, by Binyamin Appelbaum. In the past half century, by investing in transit and allowing development, the city has added more housing units than the total number of units in New York City.
So with the crane and a large crew, you can work faster, but are the total dollars for staff and equipment higher or lower? Other polities can impose costs on your time, i.e. the building permit to interfere with the street can be $100 flat for the whole construction time, or be $100/day. Or $1000/day. Raise the cost of time, and spending more to be quick makes sense.
The real sad thing from my youth, is that we figured Buckminster Fuller's belief that factory manufactured homes taken to a site would have to be way cheaper, dated to the 1930s and by the 1960s, we thought for sure the price of building a house would plummet soon: Fuller was everywhere with his domes, and new experiments like "Man and his World" in Montreal....and we're still framing on the site. "Manufactured homes" is a synonym for "poor and crappy".
And I'm not imagining conspiracy or anything; apparently it's a Real Hard Problem.
I find this talk about housing in Japan really weird. The Japanese population is shrinking and it has been shrinking for years. It is not having enough children to replace the population and it is very resistant to immigration.
If Canada were in the same situation, Canada would not be having a housing crisis either.
Am I missing something?