Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2008:January:04 Friday <Thursday, Saturday>
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2008/1/4-8 [Transportation/Car/RoadHogs, Transportation/Car/Hybrid] UID:48883 Activity:very high
1/3     Why are home prices steady in the cities and collapsing
        in the suburbs?
        link:preview.tinyurl.com/2nj3gu (Twin http://Cities.com)
        \_ This article really only sort of answers that question.  A better
           question is, why did the home prices in the suburbs get so out of
           whack in the first plae?
           whack in the first place?
           \_ They weren't out of whack.  This should all be obvious.  There
              are more jobs in the city so price/sqft in the city is higher.
              Not everyone can afford that or wants to live in a city so
              suburbs spring up around them and more around those in rings.
              As prices decline, they first decline further from job hubs and
              work their way back in.  If things continue city prices (which
              IMO are just as out of whack) will also fall.
              \_ Hmm... you're not the swami...
              \_ There are a lot of theories about this, but you should
                 know that in many large cities the prices are less than
                 in the affluent suburbs. Whether the market thinks the
                 cities or the suburbs are more desirable changed over time
                 from suburbs to cities to suburbs. Now the pendulum is
                 swinging back to cities again. However, there are still
                 many cities in this country in which living in the heart
                 of the city is not exactly desirable as compared to the
                 suburbs. Imagine, say, Detroit for example. It's not
                 really about 'job hubs' or 'shopping' or 'transportation'
                 or 'land' or 'schools' or 'crime'. It's about all of the
                 above plus the perceptions of the market at a given time.
                 \_ Heh, while reading your reply I was going to say 'Detroit'
                    as an example where what I said isn't true.  But, yes, I
                    agree with your expanded version of what I said.  All those
                    things are closely linked.
                 \_ In most cities worldwide, housing in the city costs more
                    per square foot than in the suburbs. This is even true
                    in most large American cities, which were designed for
                    easy automobile access. There are exceptions of course,
                    but even in Detroit there are some very nice neighborhoods,
                    like Palmer Woods. I don't think that "the suburbs" was
                    ever considered more desirable than the city center in
                    Paris, London, Tokyo or Cairo.
                    \_ Really? Where did the royal family of France live?
                       Every city might have some affluent areas, but in
                       more than you might think the suburbs are
                       considered more desirable. It's only recently that
                       people have moved back to downtowns after years and
                       years of flight to the suburbs. "Price per square
                       foot" isn't a good metric to consider to evaluate
                       desirability even though it might seem so on the
                       surface. I think overall price needs to be considered.
                       What fraction of people with $20M to spend on a place
                       choose to buy in Manhattan versus The Hamptons, for
                       instance. The suburbs of many cities are quite affluent,
                       reaching or exceeding the prices for the best real
                       estate in the city. Consider San Diego. Downtown San
                       Diego does have a lot of expensive real estate, but the
                       most desirable properties are in La Jolla, Rancho
                       Santa Fe, and other suburbs. This is echoed more
                       often than not across the nation from Miami to even
                       SF, where the truly rich often opt to live in places
                       like Atherton and Ross instead of the city proper
                       (Pacific Heights notwithstanding).
                       \_ Short answer: I'd bet that anyone with a
                          business/job in NYC and $20M has a place there and
                          likely also a place in the Hamptons or some other
                          distant non-business location.  Cities and suburbs
                          both have good and bad areas.  In a city, there is
                          simply physically less space available so all prices
                          are likely to be higher than in the suburbs, all
                          else being equal.  I'm quite happily living in my
                          very suburban town in part because I know there is
                          no way I could buy a similar place in SF or anywhere
                          else closer to work for anything close to what I
                          paid for my house.  $/sqft counts.
                          \_ $/sqft is not enough information on its own.
                             People don't usually buy or rent residential
                             property on $/sqft terms, although for
                             commercial real estate it is common. Imagine
                             if it wasn't a case where you "couldn't
                             afford a similar place" but rather "a similar
                             place doesn't exist". You need to account for
                             variables other than cost and square footage.
                             \_ A similar place to my suburban home does not
                                exist in SF in that sense, true.  But to get
                                the same size yard, two car garage, space on
                                all sides of the structure, etc, would cost me
                                $1.5m to $2m or so when I last checked a few
                                years ago.  If I had that much money for
                                housing I'd leave the state.  And yes it
                                pretty much comes down to $/sqft.  That is the
                                easiest way to measure the price of a home
                                compared to other homes.  That is *the* major
                                factor for comping a house in an area.  You
                                don't comp against a different sized home.
                                \_ Your last sentence is exactly why
                                   $/sqft doesn't matter so much. You
                                   don't comp against a different sized
                                   home. Within a class of housing it
                                   makes sense to compare in $/sqft, but
                                   not otherwise. I would argue that you
                                   cannot comp a house in SF to one in
                                   Mill Valley based on $/sqft.
                                   \_ Why do you claim that? Do you really
                                      think there are no houses the same
                                      size as the houses in Mill Valley?
                                      If you really believe that, you don't
                                      really know much about the SF
                                      really know anything about the SF
                                      housing stock. Comp Forest Hill or
                                      St. Francis Wood vs. Mill Valley.
                                      \_ No, it's because other factors
                                         come into play. No appraiser
                                         would choose SF houses as comps
                                         for Mill Valley houses even if
                                         they were the same size.
                                         they were the same size. In fact,
                                         he might not compare two houses
                                         in Mill Valley by size alone. My
                                         appraisal teacher gave an example
                                         of a 6,000 sqft. house built by a
                                         retired couple that only had two
                                         bathrooms: a massive master bath
                                         and a powder room downstairs. The
                                         house appraised at much less per
                                         sqft. than most other houses the
                                         same size. This is an example why
                                         pricing per sqft. does not make
                                         sense for residential real
                                         estate. For warehouse space, say,
                                         it makes perfect sense.
                                         \_ So warehouse space is worth the
                                            same in Oakland as in Marin?
                                            same in Oakland as in Marin, per
                                            square foot?
                                            \_ I'm sure it's fairly close,
                                               except Oakland might cost
                                               more if it's associated
                                               with shipping but then
                                               that's a feature.
                                               \_ I would be astonished if that
                                                  were the case, since the land
                                                  is worth so much more in
                                                  Marin and rents are so much
                                                  higher there:
                                                  http://www.csua.org/u/kf7
                                                  Oakland data from NAI:
                                                  http://www.csua.org/u/kf8
                                                  Bulk warehouse rent - $5/sq ft
                                                  Industrial land price is
                                                  $300-750 k/acre
                                                  http://www.csua.org/u/kf9
                                                  SF data from NAI:
                                                  Bulk warehouse rent - $9/sq ft
                                                  Land price - $1.6-6M/acre
                                                  Marin data from NAI:
                                                  http://www.csua.org/u/kfa
                                                  Warehouse rent - $14/sq ft
                                                  Land - 800k-$1.3M
                                 \_ What is there about your suburban home
                                    that makes it so unique that there are
                                    no homes in SF similar? I bet that you
                                    are wrong. There are plenty of neighborhoods
                                    with big yards, quiet streets, clean, lots
                                    of parking, etc.
                                    are wrong. There are plenty of homes with
                                    big yards, quiet streets, lots of parking
                                    etc.
                                    \_ Not at any price I would pay and the
                                       schools still suck and crime in the
                                       city is still higher, etc.  With enough
                                       money I can get almost anything, but
                                       why would I want to spend that much
                                       money to get something that is actively
                                       worse in important ways?
                                    \_ Maybe I need RV or boat parking,
                                       equestrian trails, or who knows
                                       what I find value in. Maybe being
                                       around smelly hippies all the time
                                       annoys me or I just don't like fog.
                       \_ You can't pick and choose specific wealthy suburban
                          enclaves and compare them to the neighboring city.
                          If you want to compare suburban San Diego to
                          San Diego proper, include National City and
                          Spring Valley in your calcualtions. San Diego
                          Spring Valley in your calculations. San Diego
                          is kind of a tough one anyway, since La Jolla
                          and Rancho Santa Fe are part of the city proper.
                          There are always going to be some wealthier and
                          some poorer areas in both cities and suburbs, but
                          overall the cities are going to tend to be
                          more desireable and therefore more expensive.
                          more desirable and therefore more expensive.
                          Didn't we already have the billionaire discussion
                          a few months back? Far more billionaires call
                          San Francisco home than the outlying suburbs, though
                          Atherton wins on a per capita basis. Consider that
                          there are 5X as many people living in the SF suburbs
                          than in SF proper though and you can see where
                          people with unlimited resources tend to congregate.
                          The per capita concentration in the Bay Area is
                          much higher in The City than in the suburbs overall,
                          though there are some very prestigious suburbs
                          that appeal to a minority of wealthy people.
                          There was no such thing as a "flight to the
                          suburbs" in most of the world. Do you really
                          think that Parisian suburbs were ever more
                          desireable than the city center? Tokyo? London?
                          desirable than the city center? Tokyo? London?
                          \_ To the royal family the Parisian suburbs were
                             more desirable, and they could live anywhere
                             they wanted. The Japanese royal family didn't
                             live in Tokyo either. You are correct about
                             London. You don't need to include National
                             City or Spring Valley. You just need to look
                             at the top end, because those are the people
                             with choices. Of course poorer people are
                             going to be in Riverside versus Los Angeles.
                             In that sense, proximity to a city does
                             influence value. However, my point is that in
                             most US cities it does get more and more
                             expensive, on average, as one gets closer to
                             the city but only to a point. Malibu is not
                             closer to the urban center than Hollywood.
                             Atherton is not closer to the urban center
                             than the Sunset District. You cannot just
                             assume that the main factor here is proximity
                             to an urban center. It's just *ONE* factor.
                             BTW, Rancho Santa Fe is not part of San Diego
                             proper. La Jolla is, but it's very clearly on
                             the outskirts of town. I would argue that the
                             most desirable property is that which is
                             convenient to a major urban center without
                             actually being in it, although this is
                             changing as more people are moving back to
                             the cities recently. I think with
                             telecommuting becoming more common the trend
                             will again reverse and people will leave the
                             city centers.
                            \_ Well, fundamentally, suburbs are boring.
                               They have had an image as either
                               a good place for raising a family, or perhaps
                               for people who want a quiet life, or want to
                               live closer to nature. Royalty and other famous
                               people or the ultra rich may have different
                               concerns.
                               I've known a lot of people in the south bay
                               area who commute here from SF. Which is crazy.
                               But they do because it's a city they like to
                               live in. There are a lot more things to do
                               and people around. I think this is the
                               historical normal thing.
                               Bad city management policies are probably to
                               blame for the reverse situation. e.g. crime,
                               cleanliness, pollution, transit options and
                               usability, parks that aren't full of
                               hoodlums/homeless, housing programs that
                               backfire, etc.
                               \_ There's a reason so many people who get
                                  married and have kids move to the suburbs.
                                  Quieter, safer, cleaner, better schools,
                                  etc.  If you're at that stage of life you're
                                  not looking to party all weekend or come
                                  back at 3am from a night of clubbing with
                                  someone you didn't know an hour earlier.
                                  \_ There are plenty of SF neighborhoods
                                     that are clean, quiet, safe, have good
                                     schools, etc. Just none that are in the
                                     price range of your typical suburban
                                     commuter.
                                     commuter. And they are mostly full of
                                     middle aged executives with children.
                                     Maybe you would call them "suburbs
                                     within a city" but they really aren't.
                                     \_ Good schools?  So SF has ended their
                                        mandatory lottery system for schools
                                        and my kids would go to the nearest
                                        school like any real city?  And what
                                        would it cost me to send my kids across
                                        town for a randomly chosen school?
                                        \_ You can always send your kid to
                                           private school, if you can afford it.
                            \_ We don't really have any fundamental
                               disagreement, though I think your
                               characterization of The Versailles as part of
                               the Paris suburbs circa 1700 is off the mark.
                               It was more like a rural village before the
                               King showed up. If you don't think proximity
                               to jobs is the primary determinant to land
                               (and therefore home) value, what do you think
                               *is* the main factor? -PP
                               \_ What you are missing is that both the
                                  suburbs and city center are proximate
                                  enough that other variables begin to
                                  matter more. We aren't talking about LA
                                  versus Banning for the most part. We are
                                  talking about SF versus Lafayette, both
                                  of which are proximate enough that the
                                  proximity to jobs is not the prime factor
                                  and instead "quality of life" issues
                                  dominate. People in Marin, East Bay,
                                  Palo Alto, Los Gatos, and so on are close
                                  enough to high-paying jobs without having to
                                  live in the city proper. In fact, many
                                  of those jobs aren't even in the city proper.
                                  I would argue that most people who choose to
                                  live in SF do so because of lifestyle
                                  concerns and not proximity to jobs. In
                                  some ways SF is an affluent suburb of
                                  Silicon Valley.
                                  \_ As someone commuting from the suburbs to
                                     the Valley, no, they're not that
                                     proximate.  I chose to have a nicer home
                                     in exchange for 2 hours of driving every
                                     day.  It is not a trivial commute.  If
                                     pricing/quality/size was similar to where
                                     I am I wouldn't be where I am, I'd be 5
                                     minutes walk from work.
                                  \_ Palo Alto and Los Gatos are probably as
                                     close (in commute time) to as many high
                                     paying jobs as most of The City, but I
                                     don't think that is true for most of
                                     East Bay or Marin. Your last sentence
                                     is not true. Most SF residents work in
                                     The City. Do you have any evidence that
                                     more people commute from SF->SV than
                                     visa versa? Traffic on the 101 would
                                     indicate otherwise.
                                     \_ I bet a lot of people who live in
                                        Palo Alto work within a radius as
                                        large as SF, too. So what? In
                                        terms of population centers, SF is
                                        really more of a suburb than a
                                        real city.
                                        \_ A suburb to what city? Now you
                                           are just babbling. You might
                                           be able to make the claim that
                                           it is a small city or something
                                           but to claim that it is a suburb
                                           is just bizarre.
                                           \_ San Jose
                                              \_ I haven't been part of this
                                                 discussion, but anyone that
                                                 would assert that SF is a
                                                 suburb of San Jose is an
                                                 idiot.  Ditto for someone who
                                                 would assert that the French
                                                 court located in Versaille
                                                 because they preferred to
                                                 live in a suburb of Paris.
                                                 Conceptually, suburbs didn't
                                                 exist until the automobile
                                                 was invented. -dans
                                                 \_ Why did they live in
                                                    Versailles instead of
                                                    in the city then if
                                                    not because they
                                                    preferred it? I also
                                                    do not think San Jose
                                                    was a suburb of SF
                                                    historically, but the
                                                    way the two cities are
                                                    trending SJ will eventually
                                                    dwarf SF. It's already
                                                    true that the SJ suburbs
                                                    have almost grown all
                                                    the way to SF and not
                                                    vice-versa (SF suburbs
                                                    growing to SJ). SF is
                                                    a small city and will
                                                    eventually be Long
                                                    Beach to SJ's LA.
                                                    \_ My point was that
                                                       Versaille is not a
                                                       suburb of Paris.  As to
                                                       why the court set up
                                                       shop in Versaille, I'm
                                                       not really up on my
                                                       French history so I
                                                       can't say, and my hunch
                                                       is neither are you.
                                                       And, of course San Jose
                                                       will dwarf SF.  San
                                                       Jose has room to
                                                       expand, and San
                                                       Francisco is
                                                       constrained to a
                                                       peninsula.  Manhattan
                                                       is the wealthiest
                                                       burrough of New York
                                                       per capita (and
                                                       possibly overall), but
                                                       it's not going to grow
                                                       because it's an island.
                                                       I don't see Brooklyn or
                                                       Queens surpassing
                                                       Manhattan as the
                                                       cultural or monetary
                                                       epicenter of New York
                                                       city... ever.  You're
                                                       going to have a hard
                                                       time making the
                                                       argument that San
                                                       Jose's urban sprawl is
                                                       somehow going to
                                                       elevate it to the
                                                       importance of LA. -dans
                                                       \_ When I realized I was
                                                          arguing with an idiot,
                                                          I stopped. I though of
                                                          the obvious example
                                                          of Brooklyn, but why
                                                          waste my time? -PP
                                                       \_ Not only is
                                                          Brooklyn part of
                                                          NYC proper, but
                                                          it's clearly adjoined
                                                          to Manhattan.  You
                                                          should have used New
                                                          Jersey as an example.
                                                          However, San Jose is
                                                          not in a similar
                                                          situation. It and
                                                          its suburbs are
                                                          cities in their own
                                                          right. In many ways
                                                          the South Bay is more
                                                          relevant than SF
                                                          is and if that trend
                                                          continues SF will be
                                                          a wealthy enclave.
                                                          It is important to
                                                          note that the growth
                                                          in the Bay Area is
                                                          not radiating away
                                                          from SF. Instead, the
                                                          growth is radiating
                                                          from SJ. You might
                                                          have a point about
                                                          the limited land area
                                                          if areas close to SF,
                                                          but not in SF, were
                                                          growing. However,
                                                          that's not really the
                                                          case. Many of the
                                                          communities adjacent
                                                          to SF are not seeing
                                                          dense growth as a
                                                          result of proximity
                                                          to SF. In fact, the
                                                          population of SF is
                                                          fairly stagnant.
                                                          Fairly recently it
                                                          was actually
                                                          declining. SF
                                                          has enough land
                                                          to be twice its
                                                          population easily,
                                                          but it is fading
                                                          into irrelevancy.
                                                          I grant you that
                                                          it is far from
                                                          there yet, but
                                                          that is the trend.
                                                          BTW, Versailles
                                                          is 10.6 miles
                                                          from the center
                                                          of Paris. It's
                                                          clearly a suburb.
                                                          In fact, Wikipedia
                                                          says "Versailles...
                                                          is now a wealthy
                                                          suburb of Paris."
                                                          I only bring this up
                                                          to illustrate that
                                                          the allure of
                                                          suburban living is
                                                          not directly tied to
                                                          affordability. Lots
                                                          of people can afford
                                                          an equivalent place
                                                          (in terms of size)
                                                          in the city and still
                                                          choose not to live
                                                          there for other
                                                          reasons. It is
                                                          not always true
                                                          that a city is
                                                          more desirable (on
                                                          average) or more
                                                          expensive than its
                                                          suburbs. For decades
                                                          after the
                                                          construction of
                                                          highways downtown
                                                          was a place to avoid,
                                                          not a place to aspire
                                                          to live.
                                                          \_ 10.6 miles today
                                                             constitutes a
                                                             suburb, but before
                                                             the automobile
                                                             it was full-on
                                                             rural.
                                                             \_ Actually 21km
                                                                which is 13 mi,
                                                                but who's
                                                                counting?
                                                          \_ You're clearly an
                                                             idiot who's never
                                                             spent any serious
                                                             time in New York.
                                                             -dans
                                                             \_ I was born and
                                                                raised there
                                                                and trying to
                                                                say that one of
                                                                the five parts
                                                                of NYC isn't a
                                                                part of NYC is
                                                                just dumb.
                                                        _______/
                                                       \_ Amazing.  Not only
                                                          does your reading
                                                          comprehension suck,
                                                          but you're a liar
                                                          too!  AWESOME! -dans
2008/1/4-7 [Politics/Domestic/Election] UID:48884 Activity:low
1/3     Bye bye Biden and Dodd, the two most palatable Dems
        http://csua.org/u/kdm
        \_ Palatable to whom? Dead white males?
           \_ I think he meant palatable in a Dahmer sense.
2008/1/4-7 [Uncategorized] UID:48885 Activity:nil
1/3     So, polls are pretty much useless, right?
        \_ Yup.  I've been saying that here for years and it's still true.
           They're fun.  They give people something to talk about.  They
           provide news types easy fodder for column inches and air time.
           They don't have much predictive value especially in tight races.
2008/1/4 [Uncategorized] UID:48886 Activity:nil
1/4     Was it just me?  I wasn't able to log in in the past two days until
        now.  It kept on saying "permissin denied" after I typed my password.
        Did anyone else has this problem?
2008/1/4-5 [Health/Women] UID:48887 Activity:nil
1/4     Six stroke engines: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_stroke_engine
        It says "40% increased efficiency over the Otto Cycle or Diesel Cycle."
        How come we don't see these engines in new cars?  It'll be cool if we
        can have a six-stroke (bio)diesel solar-plug-in hybrid car.
2008/1/4-5 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush] UID:48888 Activity:high
1/4     474,000 workers retire from work force in December, buy Jim Cramer's
        new book:  "Stay Mad For Life"!  Dubya pessimistic:  to present
        economic stimulus pkg on Monday with Goldman Sachs CEO Paulson
        Unemployment    Month
        5.0%            Dec 2007
        4.4%            Dec 2006
        http://www.bls.gov/cps
        \_ You know 5% unemployment is a very low number historically?
2008/1/4-7 [Politics/Domestic] UID:48889 Activity:low
1/4     Why is the Congress investigating baseball doping?  Doesn't a nation's
        legislature have better things to do than looking into conduct within
        a sport?  --- clueless
        \_ Very short version: the owners wanted a monopoly.  To get it they
           agreed to give the gvt oversight.  So yes they should have better
           things to do but it is their job to do this as well.
           \_ I see.  Thx.
           \_ Sheesh, lke the gvt needed anymore responisiblities.  They don't
              do the ones they have now!
              \_ And they do things they're not supposed to do but I don't
                 make the rules.  Just providing some info to the op.
           \_ Not really. Baseball's antitrust exemption gives Congress some
              leverage over them when they choose to get involved, but it's
              not like they have some particular obligation. The steroids
              hearings are just political grandstanding.
              \_ 1) That was the "very short version" and 2) yes, you have an
                 opinion.
2008/1/4-5 [Uncategorized] UID:48890 Activity:nil
1/4     Hmm, was that a momentary power outage or a reset of Soda? I didn't see
        any warning in my terminal...
        \_ I don't know, but I know that our lights are flickering in
           downtown SF.
2008/1/4-7 [Science/Disaster] UID:48891 Activity:nil
1/4     Are storm, hurricane and typhoon all the same thing?
        \_ A typhoon is a hurricane in the Pacific.
           \_ Except when it's in the Eastern Pacific, where it's called
              a hurricane.
        \_ A hurricane has to reach a certain rotational speed (80mph?) before
           it officially is recorded as a hurricane.  Lower than that it is
           a "tropical storm".
2008/1/4-5 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:48892 Activity:nil
1/4     Real estate books by former Chief Economist of Natl Assoc of Realtors
        http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2008/01/latest-lereah-b.html
2008/1/4-7 [Politics/Domestic/Election] UID:48893 Activity:kinda low
1/4     Has anyone seen reporting on Obama being the first black candidate to
        win the Iowa Caucus?
        \_ Racist! He's actually only half black.
           \_ He thinks he's black, so who gives a crap?
              \_ Please don't feed the trolls.
           \_ Bad Troll.  Haven't you read the census guidelines on beingi
              black?  Granted, those guidelines are based off of racist laws
              that date to the antebellum and Jim Crow south. -dans
           \_ So is Tiger Woods.
              \_ And Halle Berry.
                 \_ genetic vigor!!!
        \_ har har har this is why Republicans are going to win again.
           How pathetic.
           \_ Uh, *what* is why?
2017/09/22 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
9/22    
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2008:January:04 Friday <Thursday, Saturday>