America exporting gentrification

Stephanie Rosenbloom in the New York Times points to many cities worldwide that are cheap by the benchmark of hyperinflated New York City prices. Now, not only will Queens and the Bronx have to worry about gentrification spilling over from Manhattan — anywhere within reach of JFK can share in the fun! Although it might seem tempting to heal our hemorrhaging balance of trade by exporting vast quantities of Gentrification abroad, unfortunately our largest trade-debtor, China, has been exporting gentrification from Hong Kong to cities all around the Pacific Rim for decades now. (I hear that Auckland is the latest destination for the “astronauts” commuting via Cathay Pacific.)

bq. The world is dappled with electric and storied cities — and real estate is staggeringly affordable in many of them. “There is so much value in a lot of foreign countries,” said Nigel Leck, an international property expert on the BBC program “Uncharted Territory.” “The capital growth will be very, very good.”Entrepreneurial types should seize the moment in Eastern Europe, where cities like Budapest, Prague and Krakow, Poland, are in need of basic services and programs to propel them into the future. Those who want the privileges of home — a democratic government, a transparent market, the protection of property rights — but want more bang for their buck, should consider Toronto, Montreal and Quebec. Sun-seekers looking to live and invest in a more tropical climate may want to migrate to one of the many flourishing cities in Latin America. Young executives who want to position themselves for the next decade can get deals in Shanghai, while romantics can embrace a piece of Paris for less than they may have thought.

(Oh, and I can already see the Montrealers moaning. Maybe another icestorm or a round of “FLQ kidnappings”: will scare off the ugly Americans.)