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City Living – the Affordable Housing debate

by sfishome on August 21, 2007

Another good argument brewing over at SF Gate’s comments section in response to an “Anti-gentrification” story. 98 comments at last count… wow!

My personal opinion… last time I looked, 70% of housing in SF were rentals. This is the exact opposite of the rest of the country. This explains why home prices keep going up… there is next to no supply. Meanwhile, as a Real Estate agents, I know tons and tons of would-be buyers, and few owners who want to sell. No supply, continued demand… and so only the ultra wealthy can afford to buy in San Francisco… not because of what the wealthy are doing… but because the affordable housing advocates are limiting supply.

This is a never ending cycle… by protecting rents and rentals, and by limiting for-sale homes, they are making the problem worse and worse, year over year. Frankly, it is so bad now, that I don’t think there is a solution. So now what we are left with is a never ending argument as seen as this stories comments area. There probably is no solution… the ultra Left says “restrict even more housing” which will only make market-rate housing even more scarce… and the gap between rich and poor wider and wider.

To see where the majority is on the argument… take on look at the “Recommended” counts… those arguments in favor of letting the Market control rents and home prices are getting the thumbs up in a ration of about 5 to 1. Unfortunately…. this appears to be a problem that is here to stay. Yup – just “city living” in good old San Francisco.

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