El mito de las "ciudades superestrellas"

En un artículo reciente y muy comentado, titulado “Ciudades superestrella”, los economistas Joseph Gyourko, Christopher Mayer y Todd Sinai argumentan que estas ciudades de gran estatus –no sólo Londres, París y Nueva York, sino también ciudades como Filadelfia y San Diego- pueden mostrar una “brecha cada vez mayor en los valores de la vivienda” en comparación con otras ciudades. De hecho, los autores parecen estar diciendo que en estas áreas el auge del mercado habitacional puede continuar indefinidamente.

Inevitablemente, una afirmación así genera atención. Como el conocido escéptico acerca del auge de los precios de las viviendas que soy, últimamente se me ha pedido en varias ocasiones que participe en debates con uno u otro de los autores.

Mucha gente ve la teoría de las ciudades superestrella como una confirmación de su corazonada de que, a pesar de la actual baja en los precios de las viviendas en otros lugares (especialmente en los Estados Unidos), los inversionistas pueden esperar hacer grandes ganancias de largo plazo comprando casas en estas ciudades, a pesar de que allí ya tengan un alto precio. Sin embargo, como he dicho en mis debates con los autores, si uno lee su artículo con atención y piensa sobre los problemas que aborda, puede verse que no hay necesidad alguna de llegar a la conclusión que ellos plantean.

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