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Will success ruin Greater Boston?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis March 28, 2014 09:44 AM

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Boston is one of those hot cities increasingly favored by the global business elite.

It's easy to gaze at all the posh new apartment and condo towers on the city's skyline and wonder who can afford to live there, but the wealthy buyers just keep on coming, whether from the suburbs or from any number of distant lands.

We've got the best colleges and universities, one of the biggest concentrations of bio-tech and life science companies and talent in the world, and a thriving tech sector.

But success can come sometimes with a hefty price-tag, and rising real estate prices tops the list.

Writes Bynxers, a regular contributor to the comment board of this blog:

Eventually- the city will drown in its own success. Is it the natural evolution of a successful city? That only the wealthy can afford to reside there, and to "promote equality" affordable housing is put in place for those needing government subsidy, while no help or policy is put in place to assist the working class, middle class or even upper-middle class??

Right on, Bynxers. Too much success, unless treated properly, can prove to be a fatal disease.

The tendency is to keep on keeping on, despite diminishing and increasingly toxic returns.

Here's more:

Hop in a plane and ride east for several hours to Europe or West to San Francisco. And behold, there you will see the future of Boston.....

Eventually- the city will drown in its own success. Is it the natural evolution of a successful city? That only the wealthy can afford to reside there, and to "promote equality" affordable housing is put in place for those needing government subsidy, while no help or policy is put in place to assist the working class, middle class or even upper-middle class??

Those original property owners are long gone: residents of Southie sold their triple deckers and now live on the South Shore.... Other neighborhoods have similar outcomes. Is this natural??? Is this the price of success???

I argue, in part, yes.... With a MAJOR "but" at the end..... Housing prices have been pushed up by artificial scarcity for years (atleast 20 or so). Not just in Boston- but eastern mass as a whole. Large lot requirements for single families, height restrictions and density restrictions.... its simple supply and demand. Now the city and state are just trying to catch up, but its too little too late.

There is no vindication at the end of this, no "gotcha" moment, no fairness, really. The middle class will have a choice: pay up or leave. There's a constant new influx of young grads to fill the void for a while though and it will be a revolving door. Those born and raised here will likely stick it out. However, many will pack up and leave. The fate of the city and region at this point is more or less cast in stone, I'd assert.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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