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[US Housing Crisis]: Hope you can afford Luxury housing in the capitalist hellscape

245

Posts

  • MillMill Registered User regular
    I mentioned it in the economy thread, but there is some interplay with the housing issues in CA and the fact that the GOP has ensured we do fuck all in the way of fighting monopolies. So all the tech companies just ended up mostly concentrating in silicon valley. If you did some monopoly breakups, I'm willing to bet some of the new companies will run the math and conclude that they'll have a better time competing by relocating their HQ out of silicon valley. It's not just real estate they have to factor in, it's also getting personnel and currently only a finite number of people can afford to leave in CA and there are cases where people that can still afford to do so, want to move out to somewhere that is cheaper.

    As far as the first steps to fixing the issue I'd like to see.
    -Address the economic inequality. Not just making sure the wealthy pay their fair share, but also breaking up all the monopolies, since that is one way to force companies to create jobs. All the new business entities are going to have vacant middle management that needs to be filled.
    -Acknowledge that capitalism has a shitty take on housing. It should be considered a right. Hell, fucking Utah is essentially doing what Finland does because someone decided to do the math for a change instead of relying go their intuition and it turned out that it was just cheaper to house the homeless than stick with the status quo.
    -Come up with a solution to deal with NIMBY bullshit. This is probably a factor in developers opting for luxury housing. Would also probably lead to more mixed development.

  • evilmrhenryevilmrhenry Registered User regular
    edited September 2019
    https://www.citylab.com/design/2019/05/backyard-homes-los-angeles-affordable-housing-section-8-adu/588370/
    One way to get extra affordable housing without getting NIMBY pushback is to literally put affordable housing in people's backyards.

    By allowing mother-in-law suites, and creating an easy process for people to finance, construct, and rent out an accessory building under section 8, you can encourage more section 8 housing to be built, one house at a time. The person who owns the property is seeing a financial benefit, and their neighbors don't get a say in it.

    evilmrhenry on
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  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    Lanz wrote: »
    I think you're confusing ability with the willingness to do so though. The ability to do these things is there, you set aside the funds, you perform research into what facilities to buy and rehab, and you go and do the thing with the funds you've set aside.

    Without a willingness politically the ability to do this goes nowhere.
    Political Feasibility in this case isn't ability; ability is budgeting and logistics, things we are more than able to handle. What you're talking about are issues of value judgments and choices, and by and large even Democratic administrations have failed us in this regard, because they still buy into bullshit about homelessness and housing access and the purpose of housing in a capitalist economy. These are choices being made, and values being established and protected.

    How are you going to fix this so it is political feasible? Unless it becomes politically feasible it's not going anywhere near the president's desk.
    And by and large, in America the ability of a landlord to make profit from rents is valued higher than the need of people to have a stable roof over their head, a home they can always come back to and build a life from. And we need to recognize that if we're going to start fixing these problems.

    Except you've given no route for how to make this so.

  • [Expletive deleted][Expletive deleted] The mediocre doctor NorwayRegistered User regular
    In the US, can you not buy up a large house and subdivide it into smaller apartments?

    My brother and his family live in a huge (by Norwegian standards) wooden mansion from the late 1800s. It's divided into 7 units (main building 4 units, servants' quarters 1 unit, stable 2 units).

    Alternatively, could not multiple people pool their resources, buy up one large house, and co-inhabit? That's not uncommon here, either (mostly students or neo-hippies, but still). Has to beat being homeless.

    Sic transit gloria mundi.
  • Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    edited September 2019
    In the US, can you not buy up a large house and subdivide it into smaller apartments?

    My brother and his family live in a huge (by Norwegian standards) wooden mansion from the late 1800s. It's divided into 7 units (main building 4 units, servants' quarters 1 unit, stable 2 units).

    Alternatively, could not multiple people pool their resources, buy up one large house, and co-inhabit? That's not uncommon here, either (mostly students or neo-hippies, but still). Has to beat being homeless.

    It depends on zoning. This goes right into the NIMBY attitudes because people will flip their shit over a large house being turned into a multi-family house in many areas, and it often has to do with racism (closet or out in the open) as well. A lot of large houses are also not built to house more than one family without major reconstruction, so that can be not as easy as it sounds as well.

    For instance, my sister lived in urban Pittsburgh during college and spent a couple years in townhouse that was technically an illegal apartment. It had been split into three multi-room apartments (one for each floor) and, if it ever got any legal attention, would probably have been shut down. It was just an incredibly common practice, because everybody knew the zoning laws were fucked but nobody would or could get them fixed. Some of it has to do with safety codes, but most of it has to do with wealthy and/or racist people trying to force the less-wealthy or non-whites away from them by simply making the surrounding space too expensive.

    Ninja Snarl P on
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  • OremLKOremLK Registered User regular
    edited September 2019
    This topic is right up my alley!

    I want to mention that there are existing places which do a system broadly like ours much better than we do--that is a regulated free market which treats housing as a commodity. My key example here is the largest metro region in the world, Tokyo. Tokyo's housing prices are about half of New York's despite generally comparable levels of wealth per capita. (And please keep in mind: Tokyo is still growing in population even though Japan as a whole is shrinking.)

    The key difference has already been mentioned here--Japan does zoning and housing development much differently than we do.

    What has happened in the US is essentially nationwide regulatory capture of local governments by upper middle class NIMBYs who are trying to protect their investments in largely single-family detached houses on large, low-density lots.

    What Japan does that we don't do is that they have a national zoning code. Local governments don't get to decide who gets to build housing or where. As a result, you can't get a bunch of cranky homeowners together at a City Council meeting and shout down any attempt to allow new housing, artificially restricting supply in their neighborhoods/cities so that their house appreciates in value.

    We should probably follow suit. The single federal law that I think would be most beneficial to fixing the housing crisis long-term would be a total ban on exclusionary zoning practices.

    It should be illegal for municipalities to do things like:
    • Ban building/subdividing medium-density low-rise housing like duplexes, fourplexes, garage apartments, etc ("This zone is only for single-family detached houses")
    • Ban subdividing lots into smaller lots
    • Enact minimum lot sizes ("a house must sit on a lot of at least X square feet")
    • Require certain amounts of off-street parking ("you must include X parking spaces per housing unit")
    • Enforce mandatory minimum setbacks ("Your house must sit 25 feet from the lot line")
    • Require large, expensive homes to be built ("A house must be at least 1000 square feet")

    All these practices and more are common across the country and need to be dispensed with. I'm not saying we need to let property owners build whatever they want wherever they want; I can sympathize with not wanting a skyscraper next door to your bungalow. But the level of exclusionary zoning that municipalities get away with is insane and it's largely the reason housing is as expensive as it is.

    Fixing this shit would help with so many things besides just housing costs, too. It would help address climate change. Forcing rich people to let poorer people live near them would probably have some positive cultural knock-on effects. Higher residential densities would support better public transportation systems and more walkable/bikeable areas, which is better for everybody's physical and mental health, and it's better for locally owned businesses.

    OremLK on
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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    A big issue with chopping up larger homes, beyond the horrendous logistics of making it work in a lot of these designs, is that in my experience a ton of these houses are not in places that will easily support that kind of intensification. They lack the infrastructure. This idea works well in areas that have become more built up over time or are just plain urban already, but suffer in a lot of suburbs imo without other plans to support them. Those places were (stupidly) not built for anything but spread out houses where people drive everywhere.

    As an example, my in-laws old house or their neighbourhood in generally really, if you could even find some way to chop that monstrous thing into multiple units, you'd immediately run into the issue of "Ok, but where are all these people gonna park?". And it's not like they can just not have cars because you can't function in that area without a car. And hell, even setting up a transit system in some of these fucking towns would be a nightmare because of how they are laid out.

    There's a real connection between transit and housing intensification. You can't support a real transit system without housing intensification, for one. Setting up a corridor along transit routes is key to making a system work. The sort of flip-side to that is more dense housing needs a different kind of urban design to make it work well. And we've designed many of them in the opposite way.

    TLDR: suburban design is terrible on every level

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  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited September 2019
    shryke wrote: »
    A big issue with chopping up larger homes, beyond the horrendous logistics of making it work in a lot of these designs, is that in my experience a ton of these houses are not in places that will easily support that kind of intensification. They lack the infrastructure. This idea works well in areas that have become more built up over time or are just plain urban already, but suffer in a lot of suburbs imo without other plans to support them. Those places were (stupidly) not built for anything but spread out houses where people drive everywhere.

    As an example, my in-laws old house or their neighbourhood in generally really, if you could even find some way to chop that monstrous thing into multiple units, you'd immediately run into the issue of "Ok, but where are all these people gonna park?". And it's not like they can just not have cars because you can't function in that area without a car. And hell, even setting up a transit system in some of these fucking towns would be a nightmare because of how they are laid out.

    There's a real connection between transit and housing intensification. You can't support a real transit system without housing intensification, for one. Setting up a corridor along transit routes is key to making a system work. The sort of flip-side to that is more dense housing needs a different kind of urban design to make it work well. And we've designed many of them in the opposite way.

    TLDR: suburban design is terrible on every level

    Yeah like even in my relatively non-suburby city, the thing is that there are vacant or incredibly cheap houses.... completely disconnected from transit and lacking any services within easy walking distance. Meanwhile no building downtown is taller than four stories.

    And as a renter it makes for a frustrating situation. There is technically a ton of housing, but the rentals are still frustratingly high because they're often duplexes or larger houses. Any places that are just like apartments on the street you might work on are luxury apartments, in converted old buildings.

    I've been living in a bunch of smaller places where you simultaneously have a relatively low cost of living overall, but the supply just isn't there for rental units at all. And no one's buying a house when they might need to move in like 2 years even if it is cheap as hell.

    Edit: And actually I've checked the zoning for the city and there's definitely a lot of places specifically zoned for exclusively single-family detached houses. I'm in a duplex, and this specific little neighborhood is the only place that allows duplexes.

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  • JavenJaven Registered User regular
    Continued from the other thread, @Lanz
    Harry, if Finland can literally buy property, renovate it into affordable housing, I'm pretty sure the United States of America can do so.

    The ability is there. It's just a question of whether we actually want to buy these homes so they can actually help people instead of being a renters investment and perpetual revenue stream. We're not talking about the difficulties of, say, attempting to ignite Jupiter here.

    The ability hasn't been there for ideas like this for as long as we've been alive. If they were we'd be seeing moves like this more during Democratic administrations but they aren't politically feasible. It's not about what we want, it's about who's going to vote for it in congress, and state obstruction from Republicans. America isn't Finland.

    This argument almost always reads in incredibly bad faith whenever it's used. By this logic this thread shouldn't even exist, since NONE of the ideas floated around are politically viable with the current status quo in the US.

    Julius
  • OremLKOremLK Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    A big issue with chopping up larger homes, beyond the horrendous logistics of making it work in a lot of these designs, is that in my experience a ton of these houses are not in places that will easily support that kind of intensification. They lack the infrastructure. This idea works well in areas that have become more built up over time or are just plain urban already, but suffer in a lot of suburbs imo without other plans to support them. Those places were (stupidly) not built for anything but spread out houses where people drive everywhere.

    As an example, my in-laws old house or their neighbourhood in generally really, if you could even find some way to chop that monstrous thing into multiple units, you'd immediately run into the issue of "Ok, but where are all these people gonna park?". And it's not like they can just not have cars because you can't function in that area without a car. And hell, even setting up a transit system in some of these fucking towns would be a nightmare because of how they are laid out.

    There's a real connection between transit and housing intensification. You can't support a real transit system without housing intensification, for one. Setting up a corridor along transit routes is key to making a system work. The sort of flip-side to that is more dense housing needs a different kind of urban design to make it work well. And we've designed many of them in the opposite way.

    TLDR: suburban design is terrible on every level

    I think places that are that car dependent are going to stay sprawling and car dependent even if you fix the law. Just because you change the law so that everything doesn't have to be a single family house doesn't mean all these far-flung areas are suddenly going to get dramatically more dense. It's unlikely they'd even change much at all. You might get that one neighbor who decides to add a garage apartment for their kid or turn their home into a duplex so their 80-something Dad can move in and have his own space, but that'd probably be about the extent of it.

    I think it's also good to acknowledge that the most car-dependent places also tend to have vast amounts of space wasted on useless lawns. If you need room for more parking, in most cases it shouldn't be that difficult to, say, add an extra driveway, or extend the existing one into the front yard for an additional parking space or two, if you're converting some 4000 square foot McMansion into a duplex.

  • evilmrhenryevilmrhenry Registered User regular
    OremLK wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    A big issue with chopping up larger homes, beyond the horrendous logistics of making it work in a lot of these designs, is that in my experience a ton of these houses are not in places that will easily support that kind of intensification. They lack the infrastructure. This idea works well in areas that have become more built up over time or are just plain urban already, but suffer in a lot of suburbs imo without other plans to support them. Those places were (stupidly) not built for anything but spread out houses where people drive everywhere.

    As an example, my in-laws old house or their neighbourhood in generally really, if you could even find some way to chop that monstrous thing into multiple units, you'd immediately run into the issue of "Ok, but where are all these people gonna park?". And it's not like they can just not have cars because you can't function in that area without a car. And hell, even setting up a transit system in some of these fucking towns would be a nightmare because of how they are laid out.

    There's a real connection between transit and housing intensification. You can't support a real transit system without housing intensification, for one. Setting up a corridor along transit routes is key to making a system work. The sort of flip-side to that is more dense housing needs a different kind of urban design to make it work well. And we've designed many of them in the opposite way.

    TLDR: suburban design is terrible on every level

    I think places that are that car dependent are going to stay sprawling and car dependent even if you fix the law. Just because you change the law so that everything doesn't have to be a single family house doesn't mean all these far-flung areas are suddenly going to get dramatically more dense. It's unlikely they'd even change much at all. You might get that one neighbor who decides to add a garage apartment for their kid or turn their home into a duplex so their 80-something Dad can move in and have his own space, but that'd probably be about the extent of it.

    I think it's also good to acknowledge that the most car-dependent places also tend to have vast amounts of space wasted on useless lawns. If you need room for more parking, in most cases it shouldn't be that difficult to, say, add an extra driveway, or extend the existing one into the front yard for an additional parking space or two, if you're converting some 4000 square foot McMansion into a duplex.

    Removing single-family detached housing zoning is less about those far-flung areas, and more about:
    * Areas that haven't kept up with development; they used to be suburbs, but now are edging up into the city core, and the zoning hasn't kept up with the times.
    * Allowing developers to create "streetcar suburbs", where they'll work with the mass transit system to get a direct line to an underdeveloped area, then build up that area specifically.

    CelestialBadgerOremLK
  • OremLKOremLK Registered User regular
    OremLK wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    A big issue with chopping up larger homes, beyond the horrendous logistics of making it work in a lot of these designs, is that in my experience a ton of these houses are not in places that will easily support that kind of intensification. They lack the infrastructure. This idea works well in areas that have become more built up over time or are just plain urban already, but suffer in a lot of suburbs imo without other plans to support them. Those places were (stupidly) not built for anything but spread out houses where people drive everywhere.

    As an example, my in-laws old house or their neighbourhood in generally really, if you could even find some way to chop that monstrous thing into multiple units, you'd immediately run into the issue of "Ok, but where are all these people gonna park?". And it's not like they can just not have cars because you can't function in that area without a car. And hell, even setting up a transit system in some of these fucking towns would be a nightmare because of how they are laid out.

    There's a real connection between transit and housing intensification. You can't support a real transit system without housing intensification, for one. Setting up a corridor along transit routes is key to making a system work. The sort of flip-side to that is more dense housing needs a different kind of urban design to make it work well. And we've designed many of them in the opposite way.

    TLDR: suburban design is terrible on every level

    I think places that are that car dependent are going to stay sprawling and car dependent even if you fix the law. Just because you change the law so that everything doesn't have to be a single family house doesn't mean all these far-flung areas are suddenly going to get dramatically more dense. It's unlikely they'd even change much at all. You might get that one neighbor who decides to add a garage apartment for their kid or turn their home into a duplex so their 80-something Dad can move in and have his own space, but that'd probably be about the extent of it.

    I think it's also good to acknowledge that the most car-dependent places also tend to have vast amounts of space wasted on useless lawns. If you need room for more parking, in most cases it shouldn't be that difficult to, say, add an extra driveway, or extend the existing one into the front yard for an additional parking space or two, if you're converting some 4000 square foot McMansion into a duplex.

    Removing single-family detached housing zoning is less about those far-flung areas, and more about:
    * Areas that haven't kept up with development; they used to be suburbs, but now are edging up into the city core, and the zoning hasn't kept up with the times.
    * Allowing developers to create "streetcar suburbs", where they'll work with the mass transit system to get a direct line to an underdeveloped area, then build up that area specifically.

    Oh, absolutely. I was just saying I don't think it would actually be a bad thing to just go ahead and eliminate single-family zoning for everything, because I don't think it will actually harm far-flung suburbs.

  • [Expletive deleted][Expletive deleted] The mediocre doctor NorwayRegistered User regular
    OremLK wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    A big issue with chopping up larger homes, beyond the horrendous logistics of making it work in a lot of these designs, is that in my experience a ton of these houses are not in places that will easily support that kind of intensification. They lack the infrastructure. This idea works well in areas that have become more built up over time or are just plain urban already, but suffer in a lot of suburbs imo without other plans to support them. Those places were (stupidly) not built for anything but spread out houses where people drive everywhere.

    As an example, my in-laws old house or their neighbourhood in generally really, if you could even find some way to chop that monstrous thing into multiple units, you'd immediately run into the issue of "Ok, but where are all these people gonna park?". And it's not like they can just not have cars because you can't function in that area without a car. And hell, even setting up a transit system in some of these fucking towns would be a nightmare because of how they are laid out.

    There's a real connection between transit and housing intensification. You can't support a real transit system without housing intensification, for one. Setting up a corridor along transit routes is key to making a system work. The sort of flip-side to that is more dense housing needs a different kind of urban design to make it work well. And we've designed many of them in the opposite way.

    TLDR: suburban design is terrible on every level

    I think places that are that car dependent are going to stay sprawling and car dependent even if you fix the law. Just because you change the law so that everything doesn't have to be a single family house doesn't mean all these far-flung areas are suddenly going to get dramatically more dense. It's unlikely they'd even change much at all. You might get that one neighbor who decides to add a garage apartment for their kid or turn their home into a duplex so their 80-something Dad can move in and have his own space, but that'd probably be about the extent of it.

    I think it's also good to acknowledge that the most car-dependent places also tend to have vast amounts of space wasted on useless lawns. If you need room for more parking, in most cases it shouldn't be that difficult to, say, add an extra driveway, or extend the existing one into the front yard for an additional parking space or two, if you're converting some 4000 square foot McMansion into a duplex.

    Removing single-family detached housing zoning is less about those far-flung areas, and more about:
    * Areas that haven't kept up with development; they used to be suburbs, but now are edging up into the city core, and the zoning hasn't kept up with the times.
    * Allowing developers to create "streetcar suburbs", where they'll work with the mass transit system to get a direct line to an underdeveloped area, then build up that area specifically.

    Yeah, that's what happened to my brother's place. When it was built it was outside the city limits, now it's downtown.

    (Also, they're currently digging up the grave of a viking king (the last viking king, in fact) on his front lawn. Not relevant, just cool.)

    Sic transit gloria mundi.
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  • NobeardNobeard North Carolina: Failed StateRegistered User regular
    OremLK wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    A big issue with chopping up larger homes, beyond the horrendous logistics of making it work in a lot of these designs, is that in my experience a ton of these houses are not in places that will easily support that kind of intensification. They lack the infrastructure. This idea works well in areas that have become more built up over time or are just plain urban already, but suffer in a lot of suburbs imo without other plans to support them. Those places were (stupidly) not built for anything but spread out houses where people drive everywhere.

    As an example, my in-laws old house or their neighbourhood in generally really, if you could even find some way to chop that monstrous thing into multiple units, you'd immediately run into the issue of "Ok, but where are all these people gonna park?". And it's not like they can just not have cars because you can't function in that area without a car. And hell, even setting up a transit system in some of these fucking towns would be a nightmare because of how they are laid out.

    There's a real connection between transit and housing intensification. You can't support a real transit system without housing intensification, for one. Setting up a corridor along transit routes is key to making a system work. The sort of flip-side to that is more dense housing needs a different kind of urban design to make it work well. And we've designed many of them in the opposite way.

    TLDR: suburban design is terrible on every level

    I think places that are that car dependent are going to stay sprawling and car dependent even if you fix the law. Just because you change the law so that everything doesn't have to be a single family house doesn't mean all these far-flung areas are suddenly going to get dramatically more dense. It's unlikely they'd even change much at all. You might get that one neighbor who decides to add a garage apartment for their kid or turn their home into a duplex so their 80-something Dad can move in and have his own space, but that'd probably be about the extent of it.

    I think it's also good to acknowledge that the most car-dependent places also tend to have vast amounts of space wasted on useless lawns. If you need room for more parking, in most cases it shouldn't be that difficult to, say, add an extra driveway, or extend the existing one into the front yard for an additional parking space or two, if you're converting some 4000 square foot McMansion into a duplex.

    Removing single-family detached housing zoning is less about those far-flung areas, and more about:
    * Areas that haven't kept up with development; they used to be suburbs, but now are edging up into the city core, and the zoning hasn't kept up with the times.
    * Allowing developers to create "streetcar suburbs", where they'll work with the mass transit system to get a direct line to an underdeveloped area, then build up that area specifically.

    Yeah, that's what happened to my brother's place. When it was built it was outside the city limits, now it's downtown.

    (Also, they're currently digging up the grave of a viking king (the last viking king, in fact) on his front lawn. Not relevant, just cool.)

    Ok, you gotta tell us more. I recommend the [History] thread.

    I'm not saying we are going to have an autocratic dystopia, but things keep happening that look like they come from an autocratic dystopia.
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  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    Javen wrote: »
    Continued from the other thread, @Lanz
    Harry, if Finland can literally buy property, renovate it into affordable housing, I'm pretty sure the United States of America can do so.

    The ability is there. It's just a question of whether we actually want to buy these homes so they can actually help people instead of being a renters investment and perpetual revenue stream. We're not talking about the difficulties of, say, attempting to ignite Jupiter here.

    The ability hasn't been there for ideas like this for as long as we've been alive. If they were we'd be seeing moves like this more during Democratic administrations but they aren't politically feasible. It's not about what we want, it's about who's going to vote for it in congress, and state obstruction from Republicans. America isn't Finland.

    This argument almost always reads in incredibly bad faith whenever it's used. By this logic this thread shouldn't even exist, since NONE of the ideas floated around are politically viable with the current status quo in the US.

    It's hardly bad faith to consider political feasibility a big priority in making law. Except the argument was opposing wasn't that it wasn't simple speculation, it was that shrugging off political feasibility was all it took to turn policies in Finland to policies in America, as though to do it in one country were easily to repeat elsewhere. All political ideas will die when they aren't political viable, especially in threads about political policy.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    edited September 2019
    Re-splitting houses into smaller units. I live in a suburban area that, until a few years ago, didn't have limits on capacity per household like apartments have. This led to students flooding the housing rental market and living as many as 20 people or more in a 2/4 single family home. Traffic on the two-lane roads winding between the neighborhoods became so choked with parked cars that a person died when an ambulance wasn't able to go the last mile to their house.

    Even with caps on per-bedroom living capacity, we still have homes on our street with 7 cars. The problem persists.

    The best solution to the housing crisis isn't stopgap fixes like saying cut every single family home in half, its long-term, persistently sustained shifts from suburban to mixed density housing. Our community, over the last 15 years, bought up two large McMansion neighborhoods from the early 90s, slowly knocked down houses as they did, and when they eventually had all the land turned it into a medium density urban core of about 2 miles by 1 mile. The population of the city has doubled, and traffic has dropped. We have more businesses than ever, and plenty of housing at each level of income due to a fixed structure of the density (at a 1 to 4 ratio, for every 1 unity of high income housing built by developers, they have to offer 4 units of low-income housing).

    Every year these policies have been challenged by the local NIMBY crowd wanting their suburban ranches in the middle of my swamp. Each year they have been turned down because the city knows they need the taxes to maintain the city into the challenges of the upcoming decades. But this was a 20 year project, and will continue for another 20 years before the plan proposed in 1998 actually looks near complete.

    Most urban planning commissions are already working in this direction, too. If you go to San Francisco's urban planning authority they are 100% aware of the housing crisis and have multiple, long-term plans in motion. The challenge is letting those plans play out, as this is a problem that takes a generation or more to fully resolve.

    Enc on
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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    Re-splitting houses into smaller units. I live in a suburban area that, until a few years ago, didn't have limits on capacity per household like apartments have. This led to students flooding the housing rental market and living as many as 20 people or more in a 2/4 single family home. Traffic on the two-lane roads winding between the neighborhoods became so choked with parked cars that a person died when an ambulance wasn't able to go the last mile to their house.

    Even with caps on per-bedroom living capacity, we still have homes on our street with 7 cars. The problem persists.

    The best solution to the housing crisis isn't stopgap fixes like saying cut every single family home in half, its long-term, persistently sustained shifts from suburban to mixed density housing. Our community, over the last 15 years, bought up two large McMansion neighborhoods from the early 90s, slowly knocked down houses as they did, and when they eventually had all the land turned it into a medium density urban core of about 2 miles by 1 mile. The population of the city has doubled, and traffic has dropped. We have more businesses than ever, and plenty of housing at each level of income due to a fixed structure of the density (at a 1 to 4 ratio, for every 1 unity of high income housing built by developers, they have to offer 4 units of low-income housing).

    Every year these policies have been challenged by the local NIMBY crowd wanting their suburban ranches in the middle of my swamp. Each year they have been turned down because the city knows they need the taxes to maintain the city into the challenges of the upcoming decades. But this was a 20 year project, and will continue for another 20 years before the plan proposed in 1998 actually looks near complete.

    Most urban planning commissions are already working in this direction, too. If you go to San Francisco's urban planning authority they are 100% aware of the housing crisis and have multiple, long-term plans in motion. The challenge is letting those plans play out, as this is a problem that takes a generation or more to fully resolve.

    Aye and there's the reverse issue with transit to the example you mention. You need to change housing patterns to change people transit patterns. You need more dense housing and better design to support public transit in place of automobiles. You need this kind of large scale attack you are talking about along with ignoring nimbys.

    There's also the whole thing you mention too where a lot of these designs are unsustainable in the long-term anyway.

    tynicEncAegis
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    Aioua wrote: »
    Here's my pet annoyance about the whole situation.

    Yes, builders only build 'luxury' housing. They only ever will build 'luxury' housing because 'luxury' doesn't mean anything! The way you get non-luxury housing is by letting the luxury housing get lived in for a decade and stop being so nice.

    This isn't actually happening in the city where I live. Older communities just do a remodel, put in a nicer gym and saltwater pool, and suddenly they are more expensive than the freshly build apartments. Even the genuinely dilapidated units in high crime areas have settled into a $800-$900 rent floor.

    Classical "supply and demand" economics are not functioning in this economy.

    Monwyndispatch.o
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited September 2019
    Luxury Housing is not just old normal housing. Luxury housing is built differently most of the time. Larger, less dense, more rooms, etc, etc. You see this problem A LOT in the suburbs. There's no starter homes. Because it's more profitable to built a bigger house on the lot, add some relatively cheap upgrades and sell it for a ton more.

    shryke on
    EncAegisFencingsaxdispatch.oMegaMekGnome-Interruptus
  • DoodmannDoodmann Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    The specifics can be defined, like, for example, a property has to be either occupied or on sale, and if there's no buyers after X time, then the government buys it at a 50% reduced price.

    That could create perverse incentives for developers to throw up shacks in a cornfield and list them at an inflated price.

    Government comes in and buys one unit of your fourplex, somehow!

    This is a terrible idea. Vacancy tax lol. How's this for a perverse incentive: community decides to boycott renting a house owned by the local gay activist, so it gets seized by the govt.

    vacancy tax is a good idea as seen by Vancouver, but I agree with you on an automatic gov buy of vacant homes.

    Whippy wrote: »
    nope nope nope nope abort abort talk about anime
    GrpAhic DeiGn is My PAssIon
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  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    Yeah, housing has to be a top-down solution. You need city governments to pass laws to require development to provide both in order to build in the community. And County/State governments also have to have a say. Otherwise you end up with what I like to call the Winter Park problem, where one city has NIMBY'd their entire workforce, utilities, industry, and anything that isn't "million dollar plus homes" outside of their city borders to neighboring cities, then builds their own power, water, and utilities system at the exclusion of other communities, making a hole in the middle of the greater city of Orlando where all the money goes, but doesn't actually do anything for the larger communities.

    shrykeTryCatcherdurandal4532
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    Also, setting firm rural boundaries stops suburban growth and is usually part of the infill answer.

    shrykeBlackDragon480DoodmanntynicFencingsaxspool32tbloxhamLoisLaneTynnanMan in the MistsSkeithMatev
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    edited September 2019
    shryke wrote: »
    Luxury Housing is not just old normal housing. Luxury housing is built differently most of the time. Larger, less dense, more rooms, etc, etc. You see this problem A LOT in the suburbs. There's no starter homes. Because it's profitable to built a bigger house on the lot, add some relatively cheap upgrades and sell it for a ton more.

    I live in a "luxury" apartment complex. It's not very different than the old-school standard developments I lived in back when I was a college student, except they paint the exterior in brighter colors and added steel-finish appliances to the interior. Quality wise, the fixtures are cheap and fragile and the overall construction quality feels poor quality. If anything, the floor space available for these units has shrunk.

    This is the third one of these luxury developments I've lived in, in multiple cities. They all have been of the same ilk.

    We're not talking about unique skyscrapers for billionaires. The same pre-fab, slapped up units that used to be transitional housing for workers and students but is now made "upmarket" by adding in cheap but shiny interior design. And because these units are not actually "luxury" in any appreciable way, they also provide an opening for older developments to slap on a coat of paint, truck in some appliances with brushed metal exteriors, and call themselves a luxury development too.

    Phillishere on
    AntinumerictynicCelestialBadgerLostNinjaYamiB.jimb213Man in the Mistsdispatch.oMatevKristmas Kthulhu
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    Luxury Housing is not just old normal housing. Luxury housing is built differently most of the time. Larger, less dense, more rooms, etc, etc. You see this problem A LOT in the suburbs. There's no starter homes. Because it's profitable to built a bigger house on the lot, add some relatively cheap upgrades and sell it for a ton more.

    I live in a "luxury" apartment complex. It's not very different than the old-school standard developments I lived in back when I was a college student, except they paint the exterior in brighter colors and added steel-finish appliances to the interior. Quality wise, the fixtures are cheap and fragile and the overall construction quality feels poor quality. If anything, the floor space available for these units has shrunk.

    This is the third one of these luxury developments I've lived in, in multiple cities. They all have been of the same ilk.

    We're not talking about unique skyscrapers for billionaires. The same pre-fab, slapped up units that used to be transitional housing for workers and students is now built "upmarket" by adding in cheap but shiny interior design. And because these units are not actually "luxury" in any appreciable way, they also provide an opening for older developments to slap on a coat of paint, truck in some appliances with brushed metal exteriors, and call themselves a luxury development too.

    Apartment complexes are rental properties and thus not the same as building houses.

    Also, I've seen plenty of actual luxury apartment complexes. You can tell by the price and you pay extra for much nicer finishes.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    Yeah, housing has to be a top-down solution. You need city governments to pass laws to require development to provide both in order to build in the community. And County/State governments also have to have a say. Otherwise you end up with what I like to call the Winter Park problem, where one city has NIMBY'd their entire workforce, utilities, industry, and anything that isn't "million dollar plus homes" outside of their city borders to neighboring cities, then builds their own power, water, and utilities system at the exclusion of other communities, making a hole in the middle of the greater city of Orlando where all the money goes, but doesn't actually do anything for the larger communities.

    Aye. One of the big issues with suburban development is the way it segregates tax income but doesn't stop service use. The suburbs just outside the city pay nothing into the pot but all their residents still commute into the city to work, just as an example.

    In general imo, local control is always one of the biggest issues for housing policy. It's too small scale for the problem and has too many perverse incentives.

    TryCatcherEncAegisFencingsaxGnome-Interruptus
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    edited September 2019
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Luxury Housing is not just old normal housing. Luxury housing is built differently most of the time. Larger, less dense, more rooms, etc, etc. You see this problem A LOT in the suburbs. There's no starter homes. Because it's profitable to built a bigger house on the lot, add some relatively cheap upgrades and sell it for a ton more.

    I live in a "luxury" apartment complex. It's not very different than the old-school standard developments I lived in back when I was a college student, except they paint the exterior in brighter colors and added steel-finish appliances to the interior. Quality wise, the fixtures are cheap and fragile and the overall construction quality feels poor quality. If anything, the floor space available for these units has shrunk.

    This is the third one of these luxury developments I've lived in, in multiple cities. They all have been of the same ilk.

    We're not talking about unique skyscrapers for billionaires. The same pre-fab, slapped up units that used to be transitional housing for workers and students is now built "upmarket" by adding in cheap but shiny interior design. And because these units are not actually "luxury" in any appreciable way, they also provide an opening for older developments to slap on a coat of paint, truck in some appliances with brushed metal exteriors, and call themselves a luxury development too.

    Apartment complexes are rental properties and thus not the same as building houses.

    Also, I've seen plenty of actual luxury apartment complexes. You can tell by the price and you pay extra for much nicer finishes.

    The point is that the cities in America are dealing with the housing crisis by building tons of new apartment buildings. These are not only unaffordable, but they are also created a secondary effect where older units are remodeling themselves as luxury units. The fact that none of these are luxury in any way but marketing and cost is part of the problem.

    A similar thing is going on with new home construction and existing home sales, true. Lots of construction now is playing the game where they make relatively non-expensive additions to make a property desirable and then slap on a huge premium.

    Phillishere on
    SleeptynicKristmas Kthulhu
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Luxury Housing is not just old normal housing. Luxury housing is built differently most of the time. Larger, less dense, more rooms, etc, etc. You see this problem A LOT in the suburbs. There's no starter homes. Because it's profitable to built a bigger house on the lot, add some relatively cheap upgrades and sell it for a ton more.

    I live in a "luxury" apartment complex. It's not very different than the old-school standard developments I lived in back when I was a college student, except they paint the exterior in brighter colors and added steel-finish appliances to the interior. Quality wise, the fixtures are cheap and fragile and the overall construction quality feels poor quality. If anything, the floor space available for these units has shrunk.

    This is the third one of these luxury developments I've lived in, in multiple cities. They all have been of the same ilk.

    We're not talking about unique skyscrapers for billionaires. The same pre-fab, slapped up units that used to be transitional housing for workers and students is now built "upmarket" by adding in cheap but shiny interior design. And because these units are not actually "luxury" in any appreciable way, they also provide an opening for older developments to slap on a coat of paint, truck in some appliances with brushed metal exteriors, and call themselves a luxury development too.

    Apartment complexes are rental properties and thus not the same as building houses.

    Also, I've seen plenty of actual luxury apartment complexes. You can tell by the price and you pay extra for much nicer finishes.

    The point is that the cities in America are dealing with the housing crisis by building tons of new apartment buildings. These are not only unaffordable, but they are also created a secondary effect where older units are remodeling themselves as luxury units. The fact that none of these are luxury in any way but marketing is part of the problem.

    A similar thing is going on with new home construction and existing home sales, true. Lots of construction now is playing the game where they make relatively non-expensive additions to make a property desirable and then slap on a huge premium.

    And all of this makes perfect sense because the space is worth more then the property itself. There is nothing going on here that breaks "supply and demand" or whatever.

    Basically, if you can buy up a property, slap a new coat of paint on it and turn it around for way more money, that suggests the property was undervalued because it looked so run down.

    EncFeralGnome-Interruptus
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    edited September 2019
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Luxury Housing is not just old normal housing. Luxury housing is built differently most of the time. Larger, less dense, more rooms, etc, etc. You see this problem A LOT in the suburbs. There's no starter homes. Because it's profitable to built a bigger house on the lot, add some relatively cheap upgrades and sell it for a ton more.

    I live in a "luxury" apartment complex. It's not very different than the old-school standard developments I lived in back when I was a college student, except they paint the exterior in brighter colors and added steel-finish appliances to the interior. Quality wise, the fixtures are cheap and fragile and the overall construction quality feels poor quality. If anything, the floor space available for these units has shrunk.

    This is the third one of these luxury developments I've lived in, in multiple cities. They all have been of the same ilk.

    We're not talking about unique skyscrapers for billionaires. The same pre-fab, slapped up units that used to be transitional housing for workers and students is now built "upmarket" by adding in cheap but shiny interior design. And because these units are not actually "luxury" in any appreciable way, they also provide an opening for older developments to slap on a coat of paint, truck in some appliances with brushed metal exteriors, and call themselves a luxury development too.

    Apartment complexes are rental properties and thus not the same as building houses.

    Also, I've seen plenty of actual luxury apartment complexes. You can tell by the price and you pay extra for much nicer finishes.

    The point is that the cities in America are dealing with the housing crisis by building tons of new apartment buildings. These are not only unaffordable, but they are also created a secondary effect where older units are remodeling themselves as luxury units. The fact that none of these are luxury in any way but marketing is part of the problem.

    A similar thing is going on with new home construction and existing home sales, true. Lots of construction now is playing the game where they make relatively non-expensive additions to make a property desirable and then slap on a huge premium.

    And all of this makes perfect sense because the space is worth more then the property itself. There is nothing going on here that breaks "supply and demand" or whatever.

    Basically, if you can buy up a property, slap a new coat of paint on it and turn it around for way more money, that suggests the property was undervalued because it looked so run down.

    I'm not even sure what point you are trying to make here. I was responding to a poster talking about how "in a decade" property values would automatically degrade and turn once expensive homes/rentals into more affordable options.

    My point is that is not happening. Because the current middle-class market is saturated with properties calling themselves luxury because of refits and remodels, we aren't actually seeing the normal curve where older housing gets cheaper. It gets remodeled, if it is good shape, or torn down if it is not.

    I've seen the same pattern in multiple cities. That's the supply and demand that's not happening. Maybe you have to live in the United States to understand how it works in action.

    Phillishere on
    DoodmannSleeptynicTynnanKristmas Kthulhu
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Luxury Housing is not just old normal housing. Luxury housing is built differently most of the time. Larger, less dense, more rooms, etc, etc. You see this problem A LOT in the suburbs. There's no starter homes. Because it's profitable to built a bigger house on the lot, add some relatively cheap upgrades and sell it for a ton more.

    I live in a "luxury" apartment complex. It's not very different than the old-school standard developments I lived in back when I was a college student, except they paint the exterior in brighter colors and added steel-finish appliances to the interior. Quality wise, the fixtures are cheap and fragile and the overall construction quality feels poor quality. If anything, the floor space available for these units has shrunk.

    This is the third one of these luxury developments I've lived in, in multiple cities. They all have been of the same ilk.

    We're not talking about unique skyscrapers for billionaires. The same pre-fab, slapped up units that used to be transitional housing for workers and students is now built "upmarket" by adding in cheap but shiny interior design. And because these units are not actually "luxury" in any appreciable way, they also provide an opening for older developments to slap on a coat of paint, truck in some appliances with brushed metal exteriors, and call themselves a luxury development too.

    Apartment complexes are rental properties and thus not the same as building houses.

    Also, I've seen plenty of actual luxury apartment complexes. You can tell by the price and you pay extra for much nicer finishes.

    The point is that the cities in America are dealing with the housing crisis by building tons of new apartment buildings. These are not only unaffordable, but they are also created a secondary effect where older units are remodeling themselves as luxury units. The fact that none of these are luxury in any way but marketing is part of the problem.

    A similar thing is going on with new home construction and existing home sales, true. Lots of construction now is playing the game where they make relatively non-expensive additions to make a property desirable and then slap on a huge premium.

    And all of this makes perfect sense because the space is worth more then the property itself. There is nothing going on here that breaks "supply and demand" or whatever.

    Basically, if you can buy up a property, slap a new coat of paint on it and turn it around for way more money, that suggests the property was undervalued because it looked so run down.

    I'm not even sure what point you are trying to make here. I was responding to a poster talking about how "in a decade" property values would automatically degrade and turn once expensive homes/rentals into more affordable options.

    My point is that is not happening. Because the current middle-class market is saturated with properties calling themselves luxury because of refits and remodels, we aren't actually seeing the normal curve where older housing gets cheaper. It gets remodeled, if it is good shape, or torn down if it is not.

    I've seen the same pattern in multiple cities. That's the supply and demand that's not happening. Maybe you have to live in the United States to understand how it works in action.

    No, that's not "supply and demand that's not happening". That's these units still being valuable because why would they lose value? As long as the location is good, they still retain value. The only thing working against you is the property itself. Do some fix ups and voila. This is all very standard and straightforward.

    And again, the assumption that luxury housing is just new housing and non-luxury housing is older housing is just wrong.

    SageinaRage
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    edited September 2019
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Luxury Housing is not just old normal housing. Luxury housing is built differently most of the time. Larger, less dense, more rooms, etc, etc. You see this problem A LOT in the suburbs. There's no starter homes. Because it's profitable to built a bigger house on the lot, add some relatively cheap upgrades and sell it for a ton more.

    I live in a "luxury" apartment complex. It's not very different than the old-school standard developments I lived in back when I was a college student, except they paint the exterior in brighter colors and added steel-finish appliances to the interior. Quality wise, the fixtures are cheap and fragile and the overall construction quality feels poor quality. If anything, the floor space available for these units has shrunk.

    This is the third one of these luxury developments I've lived in, in multiple cities. They all have been of the same ilk.

    We're not talking about unique skyscrapers for billionaires. The same pre-fab, slapped up units that used to be transitional housing for workers and students is now built "upmarket" by adding in cheap but shiny interior design. And because these units are not actually "luxury" in any appreciable way, they also provide an opening for older developments to slap on a coat of paint, truck in some appliances with brushed metal exteriors, and call themselves a luxury development too.

    Apartment complexes are rental properties and thus not the same as building houses.

    Also, I've seen plenty of actual luxury apartment complexes. You can tell by the price and you pay extra for much nicer finishes.

    The point is that the cities in America are dealing with the housing crisis by building tons of new apartment buildings. These are not only unaffordable, but they are also created a secondary effect where older units are remodeling themselves as luxury units. The fact that none of these are luxury in any way but marketing is part of the problem.

    A similar thing is going on with new home construction and existing home sales, true. Lots of construction now is playing the game where they make relatively non-expensive additions to make a property desirable and then slap on a huge premium.

    And all of this makes perfect sense because the space is worth more then the property itself. There is nothing going on here that breaks "supply and demand" or whatever.

    Basically, if you can buy up a property, slap a new coat of paint on it and turn it around for way more money, that suggests the property was undervalued because it looked so run down.

    I'm not even sure what point you are trying to make here. I was responding to a poster talking about how "in a decade" property values would automatically degrade and turn once expensive homes/rentals into more affordable options.

    My point is that is not happening. Because the current middle-class market is saturated with properties calling themselves luxury because of refits and remodels, we aren't actually seeing the normal curve where older housing gets cheaper. It gets remodeled, if it is good shape, or torn down if it is not.

    I've seen the same pattern in multiple cities. That's the supply and demand that's not happening. Maybe you have to live in the United States to understand how it works in action.

    No, that's not "supply and demand that's not happening". That's these units still being valuable because why would they lose value? As long as the location is good, they still retain value. The only thing working against you is the property itself. Do some fix ups and voila. This is all very standard and straightforward.

    And again, the assumption that luxury housing is just new housing and non-luxury housing is older housing is just wrong.

    No.

    The point is that, in America, pretty much everything new is now marketed as luxury housing. Whatever you consider luxury or not personally is irrelevant, because no one is defining the market based on the criteria you are using.

    When I look for ads for new homes and rentals in my increasingly unaffordable and growing region, all I see is "luxury" on down. What's left is either being remodeled or torn down.

    Phillishere on
    SleeptynicCelestialBadgerTynnanMan in the MistsKristmas Kthulhu
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited September 2019
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Luxury Housing is not just old normal housing. Luxury housing is built differently most of the time. Larger, less dense, more rooms, etc, etc. You see this problem A LOT in the suburbs. There's no starter homes. Because it's profitable to built a bigger house on the lot, add some relatively cheap upgrades and sell it for a ton more.

    I live in a "luxury" apartment complex. It's not very different than the old-school standard developments I lived in back when I was a college student, except they paint the exterior in brighter colors and added steel-finish appliances to the interior. Quality wise, the fixtures are cheap and fragile and the overall construction quality feels poor quality. If anything, the floor space available for these units has shrunk.

    This is the third one of these luxury developments I've lived in, in multiple cities. They all have been of the same ilk.

    We're not talking about unique skyscrapers for billionaires. The same pre-fab, slapped up units that used to be transitional housing for workers and students is now built "upmarket" by adding in cheap but shiny interior design. And because these units are not actually "luxury" in any appreciable way, they also provide an opening for older developments to slap on a coat of paint, truck in some appliances with brushed metal exteriors, and call themselves a luxury development too.

    Apartment complexes are rental properties and thus not the same as building houses.

    Also, I've seen plenty of actual luxury apartment complexes. You can tell by the price and you pay extra for much nicer finishes.

    The point is that the cities in America are dealing with the housing crisis by building tons of new apartment buildings. These are not only unaffordable, but they are also created a secondary effect where older units are remodeling themselves as luxury units. The fact that none of these are luxury in any way but marketing is part of the problem.

    A similar thing is going on with new home construction and existing home sales, true. Lots of construction now is playing the game where they make relatively non-expensive additions to make a property desirable and then slap on a huge premium.

    And all of this makes perfect sense because the space is worth more then the property itself. There is nothing going on here that breaks "supply and demand" or whatever.

    Basically, if you can buy up a property, slap a new coat of paint on it and turn it around for way more money, that suggests the property was undervalued because it looked so run down.

    I'm not even sure what point you are trying to make here. I was responding to a poster talking about how "in a decade" property values would automatically degrade and turn once expensive homes/rentals into more affordable options.

    My point is that is not happening. Because the current middle-class market is saturated with properties calling themselves luxury because of refits and remodels, we aren't actually seeing the normal curve where older housing gets cheaper. It gets remodeled, if it is good shape, or torn down if it is not.

    I've seen the same pattern in multiple cities. That's the supply and demand that's not happening. Maybe you have to live in the United States to understand how it works in action.

    No, that's not "supply and demand that's not happening". That's these units still being valuable because why would they lose value? As long as the location is good, they still retain value. The only thing working against you is the property itself. Do some fix ups and voila. This is all very standard and straightforward.

    And again, the assumption that luxury housing is just new housing and non-luxury housing is older housing is just wrong.

    No.

    The point is that, in America, pretty much everything new is now marketed as luxury housing. Whatever you consider luxury or not personally is irrelevant, because no one is defining the market based on the criteria you are using.

    When I look for ads for new homes and rentals in my increasingly unaffordable and growing region, all I see is "luxury" on down. What's left is either being remodeled or torn down.

    If it's just marketing then who cares? It doesn't mean anything. It's just marketing speak.

    I'm not even sure what you are saying anymore. A lot of places do a quick reno and advertise themselves as a luxury apartment? Ok. That seems kinda irrelevant but sure, why not if it works. What does any of this have to do with supply and demand not happening?

    shryke on
    SageinaRage
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Luxury Housing is not just old normal housing. Luxury housing is built differently most of the time. Larger, less dense, more rooms, etc, etc. You see this problem A LOT in the suburbs. There's no starter homes. Because it's profitable to built a bigger house on the lot, add some relatively cheap upgrades and sell it for a ton more.

    I live in a "luxury" apartment complex. It's not very different than the old-school standard developments I lived in back when I was a college student, except they paint the exterior in brighter colors and added steel-finish appliances to the interior. Quality wise, the fixtures are cheap and fragile and the overall construction quality feels poor quality. If anything, the floor space available for these units has shrunk.

    This is the third one of these luxury developments I've lived in, in multiple cities. They all have been of the same ilk.

    We're not talking about unique skyscrapers for billionaires. The same pre-fab, slapped up units that used to be transitional housing for workers and students is now built "upmarket" by adding in cheap but shiny interior design. And because these units are not actually "luxury" in any appreciable way, they also provide an opening for older developments to slap on a coat of paint, truck in some appliances with brushed metal exteriors, and call themselves a luxury development too.

    Apartment complexes are rental properties and thus not the same as building houses.

    Also, I've seen plenty of actual luxury apartment complexes. You can tell by the price and you pay extra for much nicer finishes.

    The point is that the cities in America are dealing with the housing crisis by building tons of new apartment buildings. These are not only unaffordable, but they are also created a secondary effect where older units are remodeling themselves as luxury units. The fact that none of these are luxury in any way but marketing is part of the problem.

    A similar thing is going on with new home construction and existing home sales, true. Lots of construction now is playing the game where they make relatively non-expensive additions to make a property desirable and then slap on a huge premium.

    And all of this makes perfect sense because the space is worth more then the property itself. There is nothing going on here that breaks "supply and demand" or whatever.

    Basically, if you can buy up a property, slap a new coat of paint on it and turn it around for way more money, that suggests the property was undervalued because it looked so run down.

    I'm not even sure what point you are trying to make here. I was responding to a poster talking about how "in a decade" property values would automatically degrade and turn once expensive homes/rentals into more affordable options.

    My point is that is not happening. Because the current middle-class market is saturated with properties calling themselves luxury because of refits and remodels, we aren't actually seeing the normal curve where older housing gets cheaper. It gets remodeled, if it is good shape, or torn down if it is not.

    I've seen the same pattern in multiple cities. That's the supply and demand that's not happening. Maybe you have to live in the United States to understand how it works in action.

    No, that's not "supply and demand that's not happening". That's these units still being valuable because why would they lose value? As long as the location is good, they still retain value. The only thing working against you is the property itself. Do some fix ups and voila. This is all very standard and straightforward.

    And again, the assumption that luxury housing is just new housing and non-luxury housing is older housing is just wrong.

    No.

    The point is that, in America, pretty much everything new is now marketed as luxury housing. Whatever you consider luxury or not personally is irrelevant, because no one is defining the market based on the criteria you are using.

    When I look for ads for new homes and rentals in my increasingly unaffordable and growing region, all I see is "luxury" on down. What's left is either being remodeled or torn down.

    If it's just marketing then who cares? It doesn't mean anything. It's just marketing speak.

    I'm not even sure what you are saying anymore. A lot of places do a quick reno and advertise themselves as a luxury apartment? Ok. That seems kinda irrelevant but sure, why not if it works. What does any of this have to do with supply and demand not happening?

    Because luxury apartments and homes command luxury prices. This is a major factor in why rents and housing prices are not falling - the classic model requires a churn of newer units/homes being downgraded to lower-priced housing for new buyers, working class families, etc.

    That doesn't happen if everyone just slaps on a coat of paint and tries to chase after upscale buyers. Prices do not fall and the market has no affordable options.

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  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    Yall are talking past eachother.

    Everyone uses "luxury" in their marketing. The term is meaningless in the consumer sense. The rental market problem we are facing in most major cities is a supply and demand problem, for sure. There simply isn't enough supply to meet the amount of people moving inward. If you go to edge cities and cities in places where the economy is weak, you can certainly find tons of nice apartments in the way one would expect, but those aren't the places where the problems are. In Florida, for example, it's generally fairly easy to find affordable apartments in the counties outside of the major five cities, but in those counties everything is nearly twice the price right now compared to 20 years ago, adjusted for inflation. And the reason mostly is due to the populations of those urban centers tripling with the Sunbelt growth of the 1980/90s and the children of those booms now seeking housing. Most luxury apartments in my city, or at least billed as such, are the same places I lived in 15 years ago but now with a fresh coat of paint and faux-marble countertops.

    On the other hand: Luxury homes in terms of condo/housing construction absolutely has a meaning, and that meaning is usually based upon the amenities, design, useage, and construction costs. My family design business still specifically works with high-end luxury spec homes and that carries a specific meaning which hasn't been lost. Sure, everyone uses luxury on their billboards, but real luxury homes are built spec for clientele and typically have 6+ bedrooms, have fixtures designed by professional interior designers and built by luxury cabinet makers. These tend to run in the 900k or above, with the former number being in areas with a low cost of living. In California those would probably start around 2-3m.

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  • DoodmannDoodmann Registered User regular
    We are also, as far as I can tell at the peak of the most recent price climb, which has arguably got back into bubble area even if it's not as toxic as it was in 2007...there is going to be a correction.

    *I would argue its a double bubble starting from 2001 and the normal price curve was only touched in the depths of the "crisis"*

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  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Everything is luxury because putting in slightly upmarket fittings costs very little compared to the extra rent or price you get.
    As Enc noted, the real solutions are long term, often assaulted and expensive initially as you rework how a populated area works. There's no one fix as the problems can be very different.
    The easiest way to alleviate on a mass scale would be to invest in more rural/nonurban internet infrastructure and mass transit, as that would increase the size of the commute circle and make work from home much more feasible.
    I know my company has basically sold all the buildings they had in non-hubs and reduced the size in the hubs as work from home has become a universal policy.

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  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    Really, aside from outliers like San Francisco where the housing problem is rooted in a specific boom economy, really the problems with the US housing market come down to some combination three factors:
    1. Generational Feedback due to the 2007 Housing Crisis: The 2007 market crash caused a long, sustained blip in housing purchases and depressed wages for Millennials that led them to rent longer and buy fewer homes, lowering demand. Simultaneously, many "starter homes" ended up as fallbacks for the depressed wages of Baby Boomers while Gen Xers never had the opportunity to actually break out from these starter homes during the housing crisis. Because of this, far more people ended up in the rental markets, uncertainty and city-to-city migration made renting more popular, and all of these things have fed a feedback loop.
    2. The Sunbelt coming to Maturity: The sunbelt cities (those where AC is required to actually live), really started booming in the late 80s and hit peak around the early 2000s. A ton of track homes were built as edge cities around those years, and the parents had a boom of children in those suburban areas. Now the median ownership in most of those communities are at retirement age, but they are holding on to the "starter homes" these would normally serve in the market due to Baby Boomers living longer and also these communities being built on such loose density that there is no hope to really infill effectively. The kids that grew up in these communities can't live there, because their parents generation are still holding those houses, and due to the lack of medium density in most of the sunbelt, there is nowhere for them to go. The high-density urban center is priced too high and is valued in the upper 600ks for condos, and rarely has apartments. And beyond that are intermittent apartments, far too few, and surrounded too densely by suburban communities. Where a lot of norther cities have medium density rings around their urban centers, most sunbelt cities lack this due to when they were constructed.
    3. Infrastructure Collapse of Edge Cities: During the later part of the 70s to 90s, a ton of cities incorporated during the start of the suburban boom across the US to evade taxes of larger cities, developing track homes and suburbia. Now, 50s years later, these edge cities can't expand to grow their tax base, and are too low density to support the needs of replacing their collapsing infrastructures for water, electrical, etc. as before, tehse costs were handed off to developers as part of their condition of building in the city. City taxes either have to go up much higher, too high for the now 30 year old houses to really meet rents for, or they have to build up medium density, which requires deep pockets to buy up land (which they don't really have, as their tax base is too low). The only sustainable option left to these cities are to drive up property values as high as possible for the suburban housing, meaning replacing smaller suburban homes with larger, McMansion, suburban homes. Similarly with their apartments and the like. This solves the problem in the short term, but will never actually make a sustainable community as the costs of infrastructure only grow with time.

    Everything else is a symptom of these factors. Yes, rents are too damn high. Houses are too damn big and far apart. Cities seem overcrowded. But there are complex factors filling in here.

    The only real solutions have to be local (as in State, county, and city working together). Federal edicts won't solve the problem, but federal money certainly can. Block grants for sustainable land buy-backs for redevelopment into medium density would solve a lot of these problems in most suburban locations in a matter of a decade, rather than in the 50 years or more it will likely take in passive development.

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  • HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    @Enc I think it is also worth addressing the wage stagnation since the 2007/2008 housing crisis occurred. Many Gen Xers and older Millennials lost their housing. Gen Xers living in the first non-starter home were often pushed back into a starter home, while Gen Exers and Millennials in starter homes were pushed into the renter market. Many businesses (both domestic and foreign) came in and bought up this suddenly available housing at foreclosure pricing and turned them into rental units or allowed them to lie fallow. This significantly reduced the available purchasable housing. And the stagnation in wages since the 2007 crisis has prevented these fallen Gen Exers and Millennials from being able to rebound. So we've created a permanent rental class.

    Personally, I have always felt that the government failed to protect individual citizens in the wake of the housing crisis; instead they favored the financial institutions. And we've lost a generation of home ownership because of it.

    If a movement doesn't have someone that can sit down opposite those in a position of power and strike a deal, how can that movement achieve success?
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  • OremLKOremLK Registered User regular
    Well, and that ties into the other thing, which is that housing is intrinsically tied to transportation. We really need to stop subsidizing and incentivizing sprawl by building and expanding freeways. It's not sustainable financially, let alone environmentally. In fact, we should probably work toward reducing the number of freeways we have to maintain by demolishing most of the stretches in/near city centers whenever they get old and need to be replaced.

    Instead, invest that money in public transportation, and change zoning codes so that high density housing can be built around transit stops (and medium density is permitted everywhere else). It becomes a virtuous feedback loop where more density supports more transit development, instead of the destructive ponzi scheme that is building freeways out to nowhere.

    Julius
  • OremLKOremLK Registered User regular
    edited September 2019
    As a side note, I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with most people being renters. Treating housing as the One Great Investment for the middle class is what underpins a lot of destructive NIMBY behaviors. The 1950s "new American Dream" of everybody owning a single family home with a white picket fence in the suburbs was always fundamentally flawed.

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  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    edited September 2019
    I agree entirely about wage stagnation (and touched on it in my fist point there).

    I disagree that the flipper companies were a meaningful impact on housing stocks beyond 2006-2009. Most of the companies that put their hand in that market ended up with empty houses and lost investment income, aside from in a few specific local markets with large tourism incomes (in Florida, for example, this worked out well in places like Clearwater Beach and southern Orlando, but failed most everywhere else). While a super big annoyance, and their "internally financed" predatory loans are certainly a cancer on society, most of that resolved itself. You'll still find a few of these companies out there, but they really aren't the cause of any of these problems and generally are just a symptom of rapid housing shifts.

    If we have another housing crash in the year or two to come with this next recession, I'd expect another boom of such people though. The smart ones get in and out quickly, the majority end up turning purchase properties into poorly producing rental properties before going under.

    Enc on
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