Even tech billionaire and Republican mega donor Peter Thiel thinks housing prices and rent are too damn high in Florida.
Thiel, a Miami Beach transplant from Silicon Valley, warned conservatives that soaring real estate prices in Florida make the Sunshine State more like California than they would like to admit. Speaking at the National Conservatism conference held at Jeffrey Soffer’s JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa in Aventura on Sept. 11 and 12, Thiel said that if conservatives are going to have a “high-growth alternative” to states like California, the real test will be if real estate prices come down.
“The fact that real estate in Florida has melted up over the last two or three years is not evidence that you’re succeeding in building a better model than California,” Thiel said, according to the publication UnHerd. “I worry that’s evidence you’re becoming like California.”
Thiel has been vocal about the exodus to Miami from Silicon Valley.
Thiel, an early investor in Facebook and a co-founder of PayPal, Founders Fund and Palantir Technologies, moved to Miami Beach in late 2020 with his $18 million purchase of two adjacent waterfront homes on the Venetian Islands.
Since then, home prices and rents have skyrocketed across South Florida as companies moved or expanded to the region. People were also able to work from home in a state that had few Covid restrictions and no state income tax. This year, the region became the least affordable housing market in the country.
Even Thiel’s Founders Fund opened an office in Miami’s Wynwood, where a number of tech firms have launched outposts.
“The temptation on our side is always going [to] be to just say we’re not California… We don’t like tech, we don’t like California, we don’t like the woke stuff,” he said, according to UnHerd. “All of that’s true … but it’s not a way we get back to broad-based growth that’s not just some kind of real-estate racket.”
– Katherine Kallergis