Monday, April 21, 2014

Explaining Gentrification

Constraints on talent supply, not affordable housing, better explains gentrification at Pacific Standard magazine.

Theme: War for talent.

Subject Article: "Housing markets: The spectre haunting San Francisco."

Other Links: 1. "Rudy Giuliani: Press Release - Mayor Giuliani Cleaned Up New York City."
2. "Aberdeen, the city outpacing even London’s property boom."
3. "Oil and gas expansion to create 20,000 Scottish jobs."
4. "Bright Flight From Silicon Valley."

Postscript: I don't buy the argument that housing supply is the primary driver of gentrification. "Still More Bounce in California":

Silicon Valley tops the list of highest paid metropolitan areas when it comes to tech talent, with an average annual salary of $108,603 and an average annual bonus of $12,458. The seven percent year-over-year increase in salary was partially driven by those tech professionals earning more than $250,000 being included in this year’s results. Excluding those highly paid professionals, Silicon Valley salaries still increased at a greater rate than the national average or five percent year-over-year.

Looking at median rent as a share of median income, the supposedly exceptionally tight San Francisco market isn't the least affordable city. It ranks 7th nationally. To date, all I've read is anecdotal data supporting the claim that artificial housing supply restriction is the culprit for gentrification. Meanwhile, gentrification is occurring just about everywhere (even in dying Rust Belt cities) in a variety of policy geographies.

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