Enrico Moretti tells it like it is:
Over the past two years, San Francisco County added 38,000 jobs, reaching its highest employment level ever. Yet only 4,500 new housing units were permitted. For all those new families knocking on San Francisco doors, new units are available for less than 12 percent of them. The numbers for Silicon Valley are even worse. This is why the rents skyrocket.
The problem is largely self-inflicted: the region has some of the country’s slowest, most political and cumbersome housing approval processes and most stringent land-use restrictions.
…One way to think about it is that the enormous increase in wealth generated by the tech boom is largely captured by homeowners in the urban core who bought before the boom.
…The second negative consequence of the region’s restrictive housing policies in the urban core is environmental degradation on the periphery. Good environmental stewardship suggests that we should build more in the urban core near transit and jobs and less on the fringes. Yet because of cities’ strict housing regulations, we build more on farmland on the region’s outskirts and less in the city center where demand is higher.
It’s economics 101 not rocket science but few people have an interest in denying the truths of rocket science.