In what ways has Silicon Valley housing and culture changed since the late 90s and how do they remain the same?
Masha Yudin stashed this in Startups
Interesting topic and a couple of links to the housing issue of Silicon Valley
He really gets it right about Housing:
It was always expensive and it’s gotten so much worse. Some blame high tech. I’m not big into the practice of blaming (see #2 ; ) ). Certainly, the wealth created by high tech has increased the demand for housing- that’s a fact, not an opinion. That said, I think the solutions are more on the supply side and this is where SF+Silicon Valley are a little stuck. Homeowners and voters are by and large very opposed to the development which the area desperately needs to expand the housing supply so costs come down.
This isn’t just a nuisance problem. I think it’s a problem of major social and ethical importance with very long-term implications. Even in the early 2000’s making a decent income as a professional, there was no way I could afford to buy a house/flat. And that was a mess because I was effectively financing my 50/60 something peers’ mortgage because of the mortgage income tax deduction, which they had and I didn’t. I remember when I paid my income tax, my accountant would ask ‘Don’t you have anything to deduct? Anything at all?’. Nope, I didn’t. That’s still the case for many young people but much worse. Over generations, it’s likely that this is a major (if not the biggest contributor) to a rising income gap. MIT undergrad Matthew Rognlie wrote a fantastic piece last year about the link between housing prices and the income gap.
This is a way I hope SV does change. Right now I think a lot of the focus is in the wrong place- on the effect wealth creation in SV is having on housing prices (here’s an interesting piece on that from The Atlantic). Hopefully, we can change the narrative and focus on accelerating worthwhile development to bring down prices.