Google was founded in the Bay Area more than 20 years ago. Since that time, it has become one of the world’s largest companies. The company’s success has been great for the Bay Area in terms of local revenue, wage growth, and increases in population, but there can be too much of a good thing. As Google’s local workforce has grown, so has the price of area housing, even for those not employed by Google.
The Bay Area Housing Problem
The Bay Area has an excellent climate but limited geography. Limitations in space and strict new development laws make it challenging to build new developments in the area. Meanwhile, people are moving to the Bay Area in great numbers. Census data shows that the population has increased by 600,000 since 2010. Furthermore, even though the rate of new transplants has slowed, housing costs have soared to the point that many working people can no longer afford to live there.
Google’s Part in the Solution
Google plans construct 15,000 of the new homes on land that it already owns. These houses will be more affordable than what’s widely available today, although Google has released no specific pricing. $250 million of the commitment will go toward an investment fund for the remaining 5,000 homes; the investment fund will offer incentives for developers to build affordable homes.
It is uncertain how much difference the addition of 20,000 homes to the Bay Area’s limited real estate inventory will make in housing costs, but this move certainly cannot hurt. If anything, the new homes will, no doubt, motivate more workers to move to San Francisco in the coming years. A growing population will be great news for Propy, which is already active in real estate sales throughout the Bay Area and beyond. As demand for properties grows, our crypto-friendly real estate platform will be growing as well.