Monday, May 05, 2014

Doomed to Repeat History

During the dot-com boom that ended in 2000 the Bay Area witnessed an extreme real estate bubble, evidenced by multiple bids on homes, final selling prices six or even seven figures over the asking price, and commercial landlords demanding and getting stock options from their startup corporate tenants. The stock market crashed, vacancies multiplied, and the financial crisis of 2008 shook out the remaining over-levered speculators in real estate.

We are in the midst of tech bubble 2.0. Greed has returned, with fear banished to the next room. One San Francisco landlord attempted to squeeze existing apartment tenants with new conditions: they must prove that they have a $100,000 minimum annual income and a minimum FICO score of 725.

[Update: The landlord, identified by tenants as Robert Shelton, apparently “rescinded” the letter on Tuesday. Mr. Shelton was probably advised that attempting to change the conditions on an existing lease would cause him legal problems, not to mention that the bad publicity he has already received will continue to grow.]

No comments: