Commercial real estate has gone up a lot as well and has led to a ton of vacant retail space. My father had a carpentry shop in bushwick and just had his land lord triple their rent.
My argument, as someone who grew up in Brooklyn and Queens, is that building new housing doesn't really drive the prices down. I have a lot of friends who had to move or shut down their small businesses because of the rising costs.
Climate change is a much larger threat to anyone under 30 than nuclear annihilation is, and the balance of evidence we have says that urban lifestyles (car free/car light, living in a multi family home) has a smaller carbon footprint than traditional suburban living.
I'm not a NIMBY type and am not complaining about gentrification but am speaking to the fact that building new housing in Williamsburg and LIC helped double average housing prices in the surrounding areas . I used to hang out in williamsburg in the late 90s and early 2000s, when it was an industrial area and bushwick when it was a complete dump. All of the yuppies who live here now would have never stepped a foot in brooklyn/queens if these areas weren't rezoned. I live in Greenpoint now and pay over 3x more than my grandmother used to pay for a similar apartment 2 blocks away from the early 90s till late 2000s.
We should definitely build more housing, but we also need to admit that rising income inequality is the real problem here. A large portion of our country has not seen their wages grow and are a medical emergency away from living on the streets. SV is home to worlds most valuable companies, it might be time for them to start paying their taxes so we can provide a safety net for people who need it like every other developed nation.
Basically, there is a supply of homes that are available to you at three points: 70%, 90% and 110% of the median income. How these three points are chosen I don't know. Very few are at 110% of median income. Most are available to those that make 70% or 90% of the median income.
The reason this is bullshit is because it's estimated that you need to earn about 400% of the median income to be able to afford a market-rate home in SF. This pretty much leaves everyone between 110% and 400% of the median income without any real options.
Worse yet, by making a policy that covers the just above the center of the income distribution to the bottom, you basically disincentivize those voters from becoming active and involved in supporting solutions that help the entire distribution. Basically those between 110% and 400% end up a permanent minority unable to achieve support for policies that will help their cohort.
Needless to say, I don't live in California anymore, despite earning almost 3x what she earns because I can't really afford to buy into the market. California is fundamentally broken.
How does that work if/when she wants to sell the place? Is there some sort of cap on what she can sell it for?
At the end of the day, she gets the benefit of not having to tie up cash in home equity. While other people are paying $6000 or more a month in a lease, she's paying a little over $2000 a month in a lease and gets to put all the excess she has into more liquid assets like an index fund.
I wrote some about this, and about how I'm worried that wealthy people could abuse this, in https://www.jefftk.com/p/affordable-housing-workarounds
It will if it’s not illegal to build. SROs are illegal. Boarding houses are illegal. Houses below a certain minimum are are illegal.
> From 2013 to 2017, Tokyo built many houses as the whole of England.
> House prices in Tokyo are now 9% lower than they were in 2000, while in London they are 144% higher, adjusted for inflation.
Zoning in Japan is done at a national level, not local. Once an area is designated for housing, housing goes there. Because of this there is a constant flow of new housing, which drives the price of old houses down.
This is not possible anywhere zoning is done at a local level. Anytime one person has the ability to stop another from building you immediately create NIMBYdom and where the NIMBY exists, more housing does not because the NIMBY cares about nothing but their own property value. But that also feeds into the insane American idea of housing as an investment rather than a place to keep birds from crapping on you.
Until the NIMBY is eliminated, and housing is no longer sold as an investment, housing costs will not go down.
Why? Do you think a poor person's vote is worth more to the government than their wallet would be to a house builder?
Is it impossible to make an acceptable house at 30% the cost of a median earner's house?
Your reasoning is valid for people whose productivity approaches zero, in which case welfare can indeed be needed. But the current housing problem is systematic and touches a far bigger percent of the population, and thus shouldn't be solved with charity.
The non-landowners are either not abundant enough, or only plan to live here for a short enough period of time that they don't bother to get involved in local politics.
The rezoning and redevelopment of the queens and brooklyn waterfronts brought a ton of new high rise condos with it. I live in northern brooklyn and there's a new condo building being built on almost every block. At the same time there's more vacant storefronts than I've ever seen and the only businesses getting by are coffee shops, hair salons and trendy modern american restaurants that charge $18 for burgers and fries.
Compared to CA, NYC is building like crazy from my anecdotal observation.
For example, during the 1920s NYC was building housing at about 7%/y! Housing was much cheaper then, and through the period of low demand, but when demand picked up again we didn't let people resume building at anywhere near historical rates.
That's only about 0.3% housing growth.
Like all things real estate, there’s some other tax angle where the owners make more money demanding commercial rents above what the market can afford than actually renting it. They probably securitize the losses somehow.