The whataboutism is strong in this one
The only "old houses" I've ever seen fetishized are by recognized architects. The rest of them stand because it's too fucking expensive to knock them down.
Consider: right now the average price per square foot for a dwelling in Los Angeles is $800/sf. The last price I could find for new construction in Los Angeles was $400sqft. Is that up 50% right now? Probably but we'll ignore it: If you want a thousand square foot home in LA, you're going to pay $800k. If you would like a thousand square feet of modern home in LA, you are going to pay $1.2m because there are no vacant lots for you to build on, asshole. Condo, apartment, hi rise, whatever - It's not a problem of "stop fetishizing old homes" it's a problem of "houses are fucking expensive to build." But whattabout Japan
The average Japanese home is demolished 30 years after construction, the realistic life span of a typical cheaply built structure. The Japanese have virtually no “used home” market: Fully 87 percent of Japanese home sales are new, compared with 11 to 34 percent in the West.
$536/sqft three years ago in Osaka. $800 in Tokyo. And they're new for all the wrong reasons:
“Most structures in, for example, Tokyo were destroyed, so everything had to be rebuilt from scratch,” he says. “The new buildings weren’t very good, so after a while many had to be knocked down.”
But today’s buildings are demolished even though they could last. That, says Yoshida, has a cultural explanation: “The government updates the building code every 10 years due to the earthquake risk. Rather than spending money on expensive retrofitting, people just build new homes.”
Older American homes are more durable than older Japanese homes, so it's less economical to knock them over.