South Carolina is currently experiencing what is said to be the worst rainfall in a thousand years.
Home prices in San Jose rose at a rate of $100 per hour of every work day in 2017, according to real estate database Zillow. One symbol of the soaring market: A burned out house in Willow Glen is priced at $800,000. https://t.co/5KPkylTSHG pic.twitter.com/x1O5XgPmnm
— NBC Bay Area (@nbcbayarea)
April 10, 2018
People are freaking out about a burned house in the SF Bay Area that’s selling for $800,000.
The dilapidated old place, surrounded by chain-link fence and looking like an abandoned meth lab, is located in San Jose’s posh Willow Glen community.
Like most housing, the bulk of the price tag arises not because of the property’s intrinsic value, the beauty of its design, or the quality of materials used, but rather its location. The house is smack in the center of Silicon Valley’s ever expanding mega-district of tech behemoths and self-driving urban sprawl.
The smoldering abode is perhaps emblematic of the Bay Area’s housing crisis: Thousands of low-income and working class families have been displaced in recent decades. In two years, the homelessness rate in San Jose jumped 13 percent.
Michael Rawson, director of the Public Interest Law Project, spoke to Newsweek recently and told them that the Willow Glen house is “symptomatic of the whole problem in the Bay Area.”
“We need to look at it like we’re looking at climate change,” Rawson continued. “We’re at a tipping point. We need to recognize that things are way out of control, or we’re going to lose—or maybe we’ve already lost and will continue to lose—an entire generation of people. “
People on Twitter were both amused and exasperated at the image of the house and its six-figure price tag.
White Picket Fence included?
— TommyRulz (@tbond111)
April 11, 2018
Cosy. Has that charming layer of patina.
— JFhksar (@jfhksar88)
April 11, 2018
Foreign investors will buy this, tear it down, rebuild, and sell or rent for a profit. Or a tech person with disposable income. Normal people can not afford to buy property in the Bay Area.
— Eric the Red (@eportenier)
April 11, 2018
The Bay Area finds itself in this housing predicament at the tail end of a long chain of events: unchecked growth in the tech industry, local residents who don’t want new housing, city governments that are slow to approve new development, and a lack of monetary incentives for developers. This creates a perfect collision of forces that push housing prices up and low-income people out.
The housing crisis in the Bay Area and beyond have certainly reached a tipping point. Only when human beings can outgrow their primal NIMBYism and developers can be given better options can we stem the now worldwide rising tide of housing costs.
Banner image credit: Pixabay, paulbr75
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