South San Francisco, CA January 14, 2019 By Tim Redmond 48 Hills.org
EDITOR’S NOTE: As the building boom in South San Francisco continues residents are still being displaced by high housing costs and YIMBY’S (Yes In My Back Yard) shout more development is needed. What is the other side of that dialogue? An interesting read that we encourage neighbors to check out.
A Dec. 29 story by the Chron’s real-estate reporter, J.K. Dineen, who knows the market as well as anyone in town, shows exactly why the Yimby agenda will never work in San Francisco. The story dropped in the middle of the week when news readership is the lowest of the year, so I’m not sure how many policymakers saw it. But it has critical information about the way housing markets really work.
To wit: Developers now think that the market for condos and apartments is “softening” – that is, it’s not rising as fast as it used to – so they aren’t planning to build any more, except at the very high end.
In other words, you can’t bring down housing costs by removing barriers to more market-rate housing – because as soon as those costs come down, the developers (and more important, the speculative investors who finance them) put their money somewhere else.