Michael Luis

Michael Luis is a public policy consultant who has been wrestling with housing, growth and economic development issues around Washington State for over 30 years. He is author of several books on local history and served as mayor of Medina.

Our Housing Crisis: We’re Building the Wrong kind of Homes

We have an affordable-apartment problem, but we do not have an overall apartment-supply problem. What we do have is a single-family supply problem.

Realignment: How our Housing Rental Market is getting even Worse

The drops in rents we have seen in the past year have mostly happened in expensive markets where renters have been less likely to be burdened. Rents in markets that are both more affordable and have high rate of rent burden, have actually risen.

Nationwide Housing Construction Boom (But Not In Washington)

While the pandemic may have shifted some migration patterns, there is clearly still demand to live in Washington State, and the lack of home-building will ensure that prices continue to rise.

Power Up: How America Keeps Warm

In the quest to wean the nation off of fossil fuels, one imperative will remain non-negotiable: people want to stay warm in the winters that will persist, even with...

Windfall! Most Cities Really Don’t Need all that COVID Relief Money

For state government and local jurisdictions across Washington, this adds up to a veritable flood of new revenue.

How Would a $15 Minimum Wage change the National Economy?

The entire theory of spatial equilibrium calls into question the wisdom of setting national wage rates. Wages reflect the value of work, but also the relative cost of living in a place.

US News Declares Washington ‘The Best State.’ Hold the Champagne — It’s Not.

The methodology discounts high costs and thereby rewards the "best states if you can afford to live there." No surprise that Washington aces this test.

Seattle Real Estate – A Flight to Affordability? Meh…

This is not a story of flight to affordability. Both high priced and more affordable market areas can be seen on the top and bottom of the list. The Eastside is generally favored in this list, but not all parts. More affordable inner suburbs like West Hill and Des Moines are doing well, while Shoreline and Lake Forest Park are not doing as well.

Reduce Pedestrian Accidents to Zero? Um… No (Here’s Why)

We should see our traffic system as a remarkable success, rather than setting unrealistic goals and looking for a systemic fix.

What are People doing with those COVID-Relief Checks? Saving!

The unemployed, who really needed the money, probably spent that extra benefit, while everyone else simply stuck it in the bank. The personal savings rate rose to 20.5 percent.

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