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Quality of Life Matters and Affects SF Real Estate Prices

September 8, 2009

 

What do scissors have to do with the SF condo market?

What do scissors have to do with the SF condo market?

Living here in San Francisco day to day, sometimes, I just don't get it. We have high quality of life? For example, I recently went shopping downtown and watched while a guy paced back and forth in front of the SF Centre wielding a pair of children's scissors at unsuspecting tourists. Thinking this was a little disturbing and maybe even a tad dangerous, we wondered into Tourneau to inquire about a security guard or cop.

The salesperson said, "Oh, that guy? Here's here all the time. Never harms anyone." Um, okay. Well, if you're not going to worry, why should we? And besides, the police here don't like to arrest for quality of life crimes. Or is it that the DA won't convict for them? I can never remember.

But, I digress for the truth is that we do have an amazing qualify of life here in San Francisco and the Bay Area. My father tells me this like a broken record. He went to Stanford in the 60s and even then, everyone wanted to live in San Francisco. And, he notes, our real estate has always been ridiculously expensive too. It's like our own currency here, I tell my home buyer clients relocating from other parts of the US.

It just costs more to live here and you get what you pay for as Richard Florida notes on his blog citing interesting new research. Qualify of life means expensive real estate no matter what the economic conditions.

"Even with the bursting of the housing bubble, it still costs a whole lot more to live in some places than others. New York City, Washington, D.C., L.A., and San Francisco, for example, remain much more expensive than most other U.S. cities and regions. But why?"

"Fascinating new research by David Albouy of the University of Michigan does just that <figured it out>, creating new measures of quality of life and looking closely at the relationship between productivity and amenities. He finds that amenities really matter to the location decisions of people, and that there is a relationship between productivity and quality of life.

San Francisco, L.A., New York, and Boston are some of the cities that sit atop his list of high quality of life, high productivity places." Read the article.

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