In New York, housing is a source of widespread and ongoing misery. If you lose your job, you're truly fucked because rents can easily exceed $2000 for a studio. Many apartments lack basic first-world amenities in-building laundry and dishwasher because there is no need to include them when rents and prices are so ridiculously high. It's very difficult to save money here because a class of fucking parasites (most of whom don't even live in New York) are sucking everyone dry.
Land ownership is the justification for entrenched aristocracy and, in less-enlightened times, slavery. It always has been, and probably always will be. It's a concept that exists for a purpose that 90% of us would find distasteful. This is also why Americans have such a fetish for homeownership; throughout most of history, those who did not own land were at a social level comparable to slaves or serfs. What they don't realize is that if they take out mortgages on bad terms, they're assuming a speculative position while not gaining real ownership of the property.
I frankly think it's time for aggressive land reform, and I think private land ownership (with exceptions for small, single-house plots) needs to be retired as soon as we can build the infrastructure to replace it.