Property in San Francisco
Golden gates
The capital of disruption fears it may be experiencing too much
Nonsense on stilts 踩高翘也没用
1. WHEN Spanish explorers first landed in San Francisco they settled on a sunny patch of land known today as the Mission District, displacing the Native Americans who had been living there. Now the neighbourhood is facing a new, disruptive influx of settlers, as hordes of yuppies who work in the thriving technology sector move in, pushing up rents and pushing out longtime residents. New urban money has altered the largely Hispanic district, which now hosts designer coffee shops and a Michelin-star restaurant, as well as the home of Facebook’s billionaire founder, Mark Zuckerberg.
2. Those concerned about gentrification of the Mission supported a ballot measure—decided by voters in San Francisco’s election on November 3rd—which would have stopped all new construction in the area for 18 months. Supporters believed this could temporarily halt rising rents and save poorer residents from eviction, which is occurring not only in the Mission but throughout the city. The proposition was defeated at the polls; but it points to larger tensions over the effects of the technology boom in San Francisco and nearby Silicon Valley. In all, five ballot initiatives had to do with housing.
3. San Francisco has the most expensive rents in America. A one-bedroom apartment costs, on average, over $2,640 a month, 23% more than in New York city. Second to San Francisco, at $2,590 a month, is nearby San Jose in Silicon Valley, where many tech companies have their headquarters. New York city comes third. The cost of San Francisco property has doubled since 2000, compared with a rise of 48% nationally (see chart).
4. Many longtime residents have found themselves priced out. People who work in the city but do not earn much, such as teachers, struggle to find anywhere to live. “The economy of the Bay Area has outgrown the area,” says Gabriel Metcalf of SPUR, a non-profit focused on civic planning. San Francisco’s onerous permit process (which means it can take years before new constructions break ground), as well as its strict zoning laws, have limited the supply of new dwellings.
5. Some blame tech firms directly for the city’s problems. One closely-watched ballot initiative would have restricted property-owners from renting out their homes for short-term stays through websites like Airbnb for more than 75 nights a year. This, too, was defeated, in part because Airbnb spent so much to fight it. Supporters of tighter regulation think Airbnb is partly to blame for rising rents (by enabling landlords to keep their apartments off the long-term rental market profitably), and fear San Francisco runs the risk of having its neighbourhoods gutted and filled with transient guests. Protesters stood outside Airbnb’s offices on election day with placards and black balloons.
6. San Francisco’s mayor, Ed Lee, has been a friend of the technology industry, which has earned him both critics and kudos. He created a “Twitter tax break” to encourage the social network and other technology companies to move to the Tenderloin, a particularly poor area of the city, which has been good for developers. This week voters approved a proposal, backed by Mr Lee, that the city should fund the building of cheaper dwellings by selling housing bonds, which will create 30,000 new affordable dwellings in four years. Such a target seems ambitious; a mere 6,600 affordable units were constructed between 2004 and 2014. However, even if Mr Lee’s target is miraculously achieved, it is not nearly enough to meet the city’s needs.
李孟贤是旧金山的市长,与科技界交厚,这让他批赞交加。他曾给“推特减税”,以此鼓励社交网络和其它科技公司在田德隆区落户。这是个特别贫穷的地区,不过对开发者有利。本周,李的提议受到了选民的支持:旧金山应当出资修建廉价住房,方法是出售住房债券。这些债券4年内可以创造出3万套新居,人们是买得起的。这样的目标是宏大的,要知道2004 至2014年间仅建成6600套可购住房。然而,就算能够奇迹般的实现,也远不能满足本市的需要。