You are reading content from Scuttlebutt
User has not chosen to be hosted publicly
User has not chosen to be hosted publicly
User has not chosen to be hosted publicly
User has not chosen to be hosted publicly
User has not chosen to be hosted publicly
@Anders %pj7378b7HnUw9zTRAjPk/hefnQhF8cjIlOo2IZ0Br2g=.sha256

Yeah housing prices is one that really gets me as well. It's not like people have a choice if they want a place to live in or not, and now it has become an investment opportunity for the rich. It didn't get any better when I read about some of the earlier examples where this has played out in EU.

User has not chosen to be hosted publicly
User has not chosen to be hosted publicly
@mix.exe %bDpd6gLA2HFfxbrTqNns7Q3rulDf4VuNkVxGGVtIWNA=.sha256

@Shawn Gray (Mobile) 400 CAD = 459 NZD right now... that's "cheap" by NZ standards.

The real estate agent came back saying the seller would go for $1,025,000. LOL, we literally have no more money to offer unless we start selling organs, or putting our children into a sweat factory?

Real estate agent: "the seller isn't being greedy, she just wants to land on her feet"
Me: ... I don't think she's gonna have trouble landing on her feet with a million dollars...

If only brushing my teeth would get this bad taste out of my mouth

User has not chosen to be hosted publicly
@mix.exe %7AHEzG9I9/T7p2Tz5xWA1F/7bEP/Y6b+fF2oqZ8SqY4=.sha256

Records show the house sold for $47k in 1984. The reserve bank translates that to 2021 dollars as $166k

So the're asking for 6x what it was bought for. NICE

@Rabble %LNoF+6bmQKXtylFkTCtrcb66x171h+IlkapNJrb7OL0=.sha256

As somebody who's moving from one over inflated housing market (Portland, Oregon) to another over inflated market (Wellington), this has been top of mind for me.

Housing is going up much faster than inflation for most other things. In New Zealand and places like Vancouver, Canada, the argument for the last decade has been that its Chinese buyers who were using a loophole where the Chinese government let them move money out of China if it was for the one time purchase of a house. So wealthy chinese had all of their extended family buy houses and then flip them. The image empty houses and foreign ownership was potent. So Vancouver made a tax on houses left empty and New Zealand banned non-residents from buying houses. What's more, with the pandemic, both stopped allowing foreign potential investors from even entering the country.

Turns out that xenophobia isn't an effective way of making housing affordable.

As far as i've been able to figure out, mostly housing is expensive for a few reasons, one constraint on land and a model of appreciating prices. In Japan housing mortgages, taxes, and funding are all about the land, the constructed building depreciates and is considered to have zero value after 30 years. That alone doesn't make housing affordable, Japan had the most expensive housing in the world in the 80's and 90's. They changed their zoning rules and started financing new construction. They also made it easy to tear down houses and reuse the property after 30 years. Now there are 800,000 new houses built annually in Japan, despite the country's population declining.

As far as i can tell the real cause of the tremendous rise in housing costs in cities is related to two things. One concentration of economic opportunity. As we shift to a service and knowledge economy, the density of connections in physical space will help create new businesses faster and make it easier for people to advance their career. Sure lots of folks move away to work remote, but at the risk of their long term career. This concentration causes there be to much more demand for housing in cities than is currently available. This is not a new phenomenon.

What is new are zoning and regulatory rules around new construction and demolition of older houses to replace them with higher density housing. In San Francisco, a city of 700,000 people, there were only 2192 permits issued for new houses. Even minor remodels of a house can take many years of regulation to get approval, one friend spent 4 years with lawyers and architects just to get permission to remodel his house despite nothing changing eternally.

New Zealand until recently had a similarly very cumbersome process which focused on preservation of the values of people already there and the historic houses. Nothing in NZ cities is particularly historic, few buildings in NZ cities are over 100 years old. But most of what was considered a walkable neighborhood was protected by historic character areas which prevented replacing older housing with new buildings. There's an active movement keep wellington's character dedicated to protecting single family houses and therefor increasing the housing prices. The NZ rules around resource constraints are similar to what exists in California, where you can be required to jump through many rounds of approval including veto by neighbors for projects which fully meet planning rules.

The craziest New Zealand rule I've come across is the ones around protecting views. You haven't been allowed to build anything which would block somebody else's view. This makes multistory housing nearly impossible.

This week the NZ Parliament passed sweeping reforms to this system. Single Family Zoning was abolished in New Zealand cities allowing up to three units per lot up to three stories tall without special consent around density. What's more, anywhere within a 15 minute walk of a commercial street, even higher density is allowed.

There are similar rules being passed in other developed countries that have seen massive rise in housing costs. This is the right reform, it's how Japan got its housing prices under control. The environmental benefits of dense cities is tremendous and that seems to be part of what has finally allowed these reforms to go through. What Japan does and others don't is they are ALWAYS building new metro lines to new neighborhoods of dense housing. There's a plan to expand Wellington's protected cycleways from the current 23km to 147km and substantial investment in new public transportation.

These changes take years. And in the mean time we're all suffering with housing that becomes an ever larger part of our cost of living. It's a tax paid by the young to the wealthy of an older generation. There are plenty of ways to say that housing isn't a commodity, caps on cost, re-sell price, cooperative ownership. In Uruguay over a third of the country lives in housing coops which are collectively built with a combination of individual / family labor, professional builders, with state and private funding.

User has not chosen to be hosted publicly
User has not chosen to be hosted publicly
User has not chosen to be hosted publicly
Join Scuttlebutt now