Friday, May 23, 2014

San Francisco is Unlivable


San Francisco, we officially have a problem.  This 875 square foot house (that appears barely fit for human habitation) is going on the market for 1.7 million dollars.  Maybe now that even fancy lawyers and doctors cannot afford to live in the city we'll start to see some push back on the city's insane land use regime.

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Clearly the lion's share of that value is in the land; it might even be a teardown, in which case the costs to remove the existing building must be added to the transaction price to figure the land price.

California's Proposition 13, the 35 year old law which limits annual increases in property assessments to 2% even when market prices soar 20%, and limits the property tax to 1% of the assessed value, is clearly a significant part of the housing affordability problem. Those who have owned a home for some years have no incentive to move on -- and every incentive to hang on -- when they no longer have the job they moved close to, need the schools, go out to enjoy the views. They may struggle to clean, heat/cool, maintain a family-sized home. But their young neighbors are forced to subsidize them, paying far more than they'd pay if the community used taxes on land value to provide the services that make it a good place to live.

The problem is easily solved, if only one looks closely and deals honestly and believes in treating others as one's equals, not objects to be taken advantage of.

Posted by: Wyn Achenbaum | Jun 2, 2014 12:40:13 PM

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