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  #121  
Old Posted May 7, 2021, 1:47 AM
Crawford Crawford is offline
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Originally Posted by Gordo View Post
I guess I just disagree. Cheaper condos allow more home ownership and/or cheaper rent, which is phenomenal from a public policy perspective.
Most people are homeowners, and such policies are terrible for homeowners net worth. So I'd say it's highly debatable whether a policy that harms most households is a clear public policy winner. I agree it's probably a societal good, and improves equity, the environment and upward mobility but any policy that makes homeowners poorer is a difficult lift.
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I guarantee that every Bay Area politician will brag if they can claim an increase in home ownership or more affordable rent, regardless of whether SFH house prices continue to increase.
I don't believe this, at all. The next mayor of Burlingame or Los Altos Hills whose platform is "I promise to lower your SFH values" is gonna be out of a job.
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  #122  
Old Posted May 7, 2021, 2:58 AM
eschaton eschaton is online now
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
Most people are homeowners, and such policies are terrible for homeowners net worth. So I'd say it's highly debatable whether a policy that harms most households is a clear public policy winner. I agree it's probably a societal good, and improves equity, the environment and upward mobility but any policy that makes homeowners poorer is a difficult lift.

I don't believe this, at all. The next mayor of Burlingame or Los Altos Hills whose platform is "I promise to lower your SFH values" is gonna be out of a job.
Where are you getting the idea that building additional condos would lower the value of single-family homes? It might slow down appreciation compared to doing nothing, but that is not the same as prices actually falling.

Also, all things considered, single-family homes in mixed-density neighborhoods with some multifamily tend to sell for considerably more money. Higher residential density means being surrounded by more commercial amenities, and it makes the rare residence with lots of space in an apartment zone a very hot commodity.

Not to mention, weren't you just arguing upthread that adding additional multifamily wouldn't impact residential prices.
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  #123  
Old Posted May 7, 2021, 1:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
Most people are homeowners, and such policies are terrible for homeowners net worth. So I'd say it's highly debatable whether a policy that harms most households is a clear public policy winner. I agree it's probably a societal good, and improves equity, the environment and upward mobility but any policy that makes homeowners poorer is a difficult lift.
You're switching back and forth between homeowners and SFH owners. Even so, I've never seen an upzone result in lower SFH values. Either it's as you mention - new condo supply doesn't impact SFH values negatively - or that upzoning of actual SFH land increases the value of the land so much (for teardown) that there is no value decrease.

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I don't believe this, at all. The next mayor of Burlingame or Los Altos Hills whose platform is "I promise to lower your SFH values" is gonna be out of a job.
I'm not talking about mayors of small cities, I'm talking about state legislators. Regardless, like I mentioned above, limited zoning increases nearly always (always? I've never seen otherwise in California) increase values of even SFHs, because the land can now be developed more intensely. I get that people don't like zoning increases for other reasons, but I've never seen a case in the Bay Area where a zoning increase resulted in lower property values.
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  #124  
Old Posted May 7, 2021, 3:39 PM
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Say what?

Reservoir Hills in Oakland is apparently the "hottest" neighborhood in the Bay Area as far as real estate appreciation, at least according to this.
https://www.sfchronicle.com/realesta...l-16155429.php

Reservoir Hills is part of an area colloquially known as 'The Murder Dubs'(20th-29th Avs)because of the extraordinarily high murder rate back in the 1980s, not to mention drug dealing, prostitution and run of the mill robberies, car break ins etc. Crime is still very high in this area btw.

However, Reservoir Hills is the 'quieter' part of the murder dubs tho that borders Glenview(an established affluent area of upper middle class yuppies and wealthier immigrants). Reservoir Hills has long been the area where grandmas(Black and Chinese) live and is really not that bad looking tbh, but now the median home price has shot up to a mindboggling $800,000. Too bad.

My parents bought their first house after getting married in the early 1970s not far from Reservoir Hills-it was a small 2bd craftsman bungalow and cost $12,000. Today that same bungalow is worth around 1 million dollars-in the hood.

Anyhow, this bridge is one of the "border crossings" between Oakland's Hills and the East.
Glenview-to-Reservoir Hills
https://goo.gl/maps/Eybt3MsfhtGpMqXu9
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  #125  
Old Posted May 7, 2021, 4:21 PM
Crawford Crawford is offline
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Originally Posted by Gordo View Post
You're switching back and forth between homeowners and SFH owners. Even so, I've never seen an upzone result in lower SFH values. Either it's as you mention - new condo supply doesn't impact SFH values negatively - or that upzoning of actual SFH land increases the value of the land so much (for teardown) that there is no value decrease.
Homeowners generally are SFH owners. The vast majority of homeowners in the U.S., especially in NIMBY high-cost suburbs (the issue under discussion) are SFH owners. So it's the same discussion.

I agree that upzonings probably don't result in SFH declines, but upzonings generally don't happen in SFH neighborhoods. And those are the "housing crisis" areas in the Bay Area.

And the question isn't whether or not an upzoning results in a SFH value decline, it's whether there's such a perception (and there is such a perception among SFH owners in the kind of places that need radical zoning change to affect home prices).
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Originally Posted by Gordo View Post
I'm not talking about mayors of small cities, I'm talking about state legislators.
If you're right and state legislators can override local zoning, then, yeah, it may be possible to lower overall prices. But I think there would be severe political costs, even at the state level, which is probably why no such initiative has happened (yet). And in places outside the U.S. where zoning is at the state/provincial level, and locals are largely powerless, I don't see greater overall affordability (see Canada). Toronto and Vancouver are less affordable than the Bay Area.
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  #126  
Old Posted May 7, 2021, 7:04 PM
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Homeowners generally are SFH owners. The vast majority of homeowners in the U.S., especially in NIMBY high-cost suburbs (the issue under discussion) are SFH owners. So it's the same discussion.
We're talking about the Bay Area. Condos in high-cost Bay Area suburbs are mostly not allowed, or very rarely allowed. The fact that few people own them are because they are not allowed.

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I agree that upzonings probably don't result in SFH declines, but upzonings generally don't happen in SFH neighborhoods. And those are the "housing crisis" areas in the Bay Area.
Right, so why the focus on SFH areas only? If we could upzone other areas and increase Bay Area housing units by several hundred thousand condos, I do think we'd hear a lot less about a housing crisis. The fact that there are very few places where condos can be built is the reason that everyone talks only about SFHs, not because everyone only wants SFHs (if no one wants higher density housing there's no reason to ban it, the market won't supply it and everything will remain SFHs). The evidence I'd use for this is that condos still sell quickly and for cost per sqft amounts nearly the same as SFHs. (again, in the Bay Area in desirable areas where they are allowed)
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  #127  
Old Posted May 7, 2021, 7:18 PM
eschaton eschaton is online now
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I'm pretty sure I've read articles about how those Silicon Valley NIMBYs are just as opposed to dense infill in their single-story commercial zones as they are within the residential neighborhoods.
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