Land value too high, no low/medium density residence demand anymore

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Lardef

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Feb 8, 2024
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Hello everyone!

I'd like to exchange some thoughts here about something that happened in a city I created in the game. I'm playing in sandbox mode because I wanted to test a few things and not worry about money.

I created a denser central area based on New York (a dense island with skyscrapers) and a more suburban region around it. I got carried away with the island, and it grew quite a bit with medium and high-density residential zones, commerce, and offices. I also created a complete educational system providing good access to universities and colleges so that residents could qualify to work in the offices and get better paying jobs. I left the industrial areas for later because it wasn't my focus/interest at that moment.

The city grew and developed, but something curious happened: most of the population became "rich." Purchasing power increased dramatically. I no longer have problems with "expensive rent issue" because everyone can afford it (which would be great in the real world!).

The problem is that this significantly increased land value, and now the demand for low-density residences has completely disappeared. And it seems to me that single-family homes in CS2 are more geared towards low-income people (which doesn't make much sense to me because usually very wealthy people tend to live in large and luxurious houses, not apartments... of course, this varies from place to place).

Now I can't create a suburban area because there's no demand for it. Even medium density has disappeared, and it barely appears in what would be my version of Manhattan Island, the land value has become so high that even medium density is no longer suitable. Which kind of makes sense in real life, the logic seems correct to me (see major cities around the world with increasingly high rents and cost of living), but the problem seems to be with the system balancing itself.

I even tried to create new industrial areas to try to atract low-paying jobs, but I can't increase the demand for low and medium-density residences anymore. I don't know if this is a design/balancing issue, a bug, or if I did something wrong.

Maybe I created an utopia? lol
 
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This is fixable with mods, but it still feels like something of a band-aid. There are mods that address land value and population age distribution that make the game more playable. I have chosen this approach because while there are still significant issues with the game, these mods at least make my cities "work". My interest is in understanding the game better and I had your exact experience before deciding to go that route. My only hope is that I'm not learning "bad behavior" from these mods that I will later have to unlearn, but I figured it's either this or let it gather dust and I really wanted to play the game.
 
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Hello everyone!

I'd like to exchange some thoughts here about something that happened in a city I created in the game. I'm playing in sandbox mode because I wanted to test a few things and not worry about money.

I created a denser central area based on New York (a dense island with skyscrapers) and a more suburban region around it. I got carried away with the island, and it grew quite a bit with medium and high-density residential zones, commerce, and offices. I also created a complete educational system providing good access to universities and colleges so that residents could qualify to work in the offices and get better paying jobs. I left the industrial areas for later because it wasn't my focus/interest at that moment.

The city grew and developed, but something curious happened: most of the population became "rich." Purchasing power increased dramatically. I no longer have problems with "expensive rent issue" because everyone can afford it (which would be great in the real world!).

The problem is that this significantly increased land value, and now the demand for low-density residences has completely disappeared. And it seems to me that single-family homes in CS2 are more geared towards low-income people (which doesn't make much sense to me because usually very wealthy people tend to live in large and luxurious houses, not apartments... of course, this varies from place to place).

Now I can't create a suburban area because there's no demand for it. Even medium density has disappeared, and it barely appears in what would be my version of Manhattan Island, the land value has become so high that even medium density is no longer suitable. Which kind of makes sense in real life, the logic seems correct to me (see major cities around the world with increasingly high rents and cost of living), but the problem seems to be with the system balancing itself.

I even tried to create new industrial areas to try to atract low-paying jobs, but I can't increase the demand for low and medium-density residences anymore. I don't know if this is a design/balancing issue, a bug, or if I did something wrong.

Maybe I created a utopia? lo

Hello everyone!

I'd like to exchange some thoughts here about something that happened in a city I created in the game. I'm playing in sandbox mode because I wanted to test a few things and not worry about money.

I created a denser central area based on New York (a dense island with skyscrapers) and a more suburban region around it. I got carried away with the island, and it grew quite a bit with medium and high-density residential zones, commerce, and offices. I also created a complete educational system providing good access to universities and colleges so that residents could qualify to work in the offices and get better paying jobs. I left the industrial areas for later because it wasn't my focus/interest at that moment.

The city grew and developed, but something curious happened: most of the population became "rich." Purchasing power increased dramatically. I no longer have problems with "expensive rent issue" because everyone can afford it (which would be great in the real world!).

The problem is that this significantly increased land value, and now the demand for low-density residences has completely disappeared. And it seems to me that single-family homes in CS2 are more geared towards low-income people (which doesn't make much sense to me because usually very wealthy people tend to live in large and luxurious houses, not apartments... of course, this varies from place to place).

Now I can't create a suburban area because there's no demand for it. Even medium density has disappeared, and it barely appears in what would be my version of Manhattan Island, the land value has become so high that even medium density is no longer suitable. Which kind of makes sense in real life, the logic seems correct to me (see major cities around the world with increasingly high rents and cost of living), but the problem seems to be with the system balancing itself.

I even tried to create new industrial areas to try to atract low-paying jobs, but I can't increase the demand for low and medium-density residences anymore. I don't know if this is a design/balancing issue, a bug, or if I did something wrong.

Maybe I created an utopia? lol
Check out your population view. Are your current low density houses empty?
 
Welcome to the Land Value death spiral.

This video by CPP describes what's going on very clearly, as well as linking to the mod he used to fix it.

 
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I don't understand zoning and land value at all in this game. I still wish it was done like Sim City 4. Let me up-zone without demolishing existing buildings and let market economics decide what gets built on each lot. The fact that lots never redevelop on their own to their highest and best use seems like such a strange choice and is completely immersion breaking. The entire system of land development in this game doesn't make any logical sense and lacks any basis in reality. This game can't figure out if it want to be a sim or a city painter and it's really frustrating as someone who's more interested in the sim aspect. I feel like a lot of these land value and demand issues would be a lot easier to handle if properties could redevelop themselves as the market demands.
 
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You don’t need to recreate Manhattan to get skyrocketing land value. Simply as your buildings level up, land value would grow without limits, even despite having plenty of empty buildings. This is the reason I stopped playing, makes impossible to make a city that feels realistic.
 
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Land value works the wrong way in this game.

Too high land value and the buildings get abandoned. It doesn't work that way in the real world. At all. They seriously need to fix that as it is breaking the game.
 
Land value works the wrong way in this game.

Too high land value and the buildings get abandoned. It doesn't work that way in the real world. At all. They seriously need to fix that as it is breaking the game.
That's what I'm saying. In the real world, land is redeveloped when it's value outpaces it's use. This game has no mechanic for redeveloping properties so that never happens. It's a super important aspect of urban planning and the growth of cities. I'm shocked they didn't address this in CS2.

In Simcity 4 you would see small single family homes get replaced by larger SFH homes, and then mansions as the property values rose and residents got richer. You could upzone properties to higher density levels and let them fill in as the market desired. If a wealthy family lost wealth, you would see their mansion become poorly maintained but still occupied. The wealth level of the property might drop below its potential. It was super complex and immersive for a game made 20 years ago. Whatever they have going on in CS and CS2 makes zero sense from a realism standpoint and even less sense from an immersion standpoint.
 
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I'm having the same issue, and I have installed the mod suggested in the video.
Now I'm getting only demand for low density, medium and high density is gone.
But I think there is another (or more than one) issue underneath.
The number of empty buildings indicated in the statistics doesn't make any sense. I haven't build any medium density for a while after installing the mod, the population has been going up slowly by 3-500/h but the number of empty properties has remained the same.
Also, even more curiously, there is an endemic lack of highly educated workers. For example, I have 6k open positions, I build only residential areas and they don't change. I let the population increase and the hours passing, and the open positions increase slowly (all education is in green with plenty of margin).
Then I build some industry because I have demand (expecting to get more open positions, since most of industries have the flashing icon of not enough skilled workers), and bang! open positions go DOWN by 200 units. I build commercial areas, and they go down to 5500.
And no, I'm not looking at unemployment :D
So there is something really odd going on with the very slow population growth despite plenty of connections, empty houses and jobs, skilled workers always missing and very odd demand for residential areas.
 
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The number of empty buildings indicated in the statistics doesn't make any sense. I haven't build any medium density for a while after installing the mod, the population has been going up slowly by 3-500/h but the number of empty properties has remained the same.
The Info_Loom mod will go into demand factors and why people will or will not move into medium/high density. It's still frustrating because there don't appear to be ways to incentivize people to move into, say row housing, but that mod will at least let you know the reason is because there are a lot of empty "residences" (not properties, just units within). As to why people don't move into them, that is a mystery to me as well. But you at least can point at a number and know why your mid and high aren't growing.
 
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That's what I'm saying. In the real world, land is redeveloped when it's value outpaces it's use. This game has no mechanic for redeveloping properties so that never happens. It's a super important aspect of urban planning and the growth of cities. I'm shocked they didn't address this in CS2.

In Simcity 4 you would see small single family homes get replaced by larger SFH homes, and then mansions as the property values rose and residents got richer. You could upzone properties to higher density levels and let them fill in as the market desired. If a wealthy family lost wealth, you would see their mansion become poorly maintained but still occupied. The wealth level of the property might drop below its potential. It was super complex and immersive for a game made 20 years ago. Whatever they have going on in CS and CS2 makes zero sense from a realism standpoint and even less sense from an immersion standpoint.
SC4's land value metric only affected the amount of tax revenue generated. The simulation never used it to determine whether a building redevelops or not.

SC4 used a sperate "desirability" metric to determine what wealth levels would develop in what areas if there was sufficient demand. Land value could rise and fall independent of desirability.
 
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The Info_Loom mod will go into demand factors and why people will or will not move into medium/high density. It's still frustrating because there don't appear to be ways to incentivize people to move into, say row housing, but that mod will at least let you know the reason is because there are a lot of empty "residences" (not properties, just units within). As to why people don't move into them, that is a mystery to me as well. But you at least can point at a number and know why your mid and high aren't growing.

Yes, I'm using that mod.
So yesterday I have left running the game for a while (until it crashed and I discovered that on that PC the autosave wasn't enable, damn it...) and I have noticed this.
The buildings do get filled up VERY, VERY slowly.
What I think is happening is that, since I have enabled the mod to balance the land value, a lot of medium and high density buildings have got abandoned and eventually collapsed. So the moment the demand for those area goes to 0-1, they start being build again and the demand immediately goes back negative because the number of empty properties goes immediately above the threshold of 10% of the overall amount of buildings.
I suppose that, if I had started the city with that mod enabled, things would not have gone so far off.
But the major point is that population grows really slowly and filling the properties takes ages.

I have a theory on that, based on what I have seen.
When a new building pops up, the game sends people by car to fill it in. Until the cars haven't arrived, the building is empty and there is no population increase.
I have seen new buildings coming out, remaining empty long enough to get the abandoned icon, and then one car arrives and three-four people appears as resident there.
So, at least in my cities, I zone areas in a specific location, which means that everyone tries to go to the same place eventually ending up on the same route.
This would explain the periodical, random and inexplicable traffic jams that I get at the motorway exits.
If you don't get new population until cars have actually arrived to the building, the traffic is the bottleneck to fill up the empty buildings. Moreover, when the traffic gets stuck for too long, cars just vanishes and I suspect that it prevents the people from reaching their destination, therefore filling up the new building. This leads to a lot of empty buildings, which in turn takes down the demand, slowing further down the arrival of new people.

I don't know if this makes any sense to you...
 
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This screen typically tells me all I need to know when it comes to cims desiring to live in low/med/high zoning. I still don't have the foggiest what makes people want any particular type of housing. But this mod does tell me what the demand is in the current moment and a sense of why.

Top line is the properties already built. I am not sure if "in construction" are represented here or not. But the key is to note the difference between occupied and empty properties. When fewer than 10% of the total apartments in the whole city are vacant, people feel they don't have many options to live there and so will start to demand new housing.

And the ratio of the demand of that housing is presented on the bottom line. When the number is at zero or negative then you can't build new housing for that zone type because the properties are too empty and developers won't build. As to the "why" people don't want to move in, that still is a mystery to me. But this will tell you when demand exists and you can use this information to carefully choose how much of a zone type you want to implement in your city.

I've been zoning block by block and watching these numbers to get a feel for it, and I now feel much more in control of my city. Even if I still don't know why people demand the zoning types, I can still place them where I feel I want them to be in the city without waiting hours for people to arrive.

Patience is key.


1707574769624.png
 
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Patience is indeed the key. A lot of patience.
I have left my city running since this morning for about 7.5 hours, just building a bit here and there.
See the progression, from this:

Image1.jpg


to this:

Image2.jpg


I haven't built any high density, and they get sloooowly filled up.
The main issue is the increasing lack of highly educated workers, even without adding any commercial, industrial or office area, the demand keeps growing and growing a lot faster than population arriving.
 
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I have left my city running since this morning for about 7.5 hours, just building a bit here and there.

Speaking of which do you know of any tips to increase simulation speed? I've found the "Rendering Options" mod with LOD set to "1" and "force low global quality" checked does help a small amount.

For reference I'm running this on a Ryzen 5950X with a Radeon RX 6900 XT and the game slows to a glacial pace pretty quickly. I don't know what folks are doing about this, if anything, other than suffering through it.

I think it would be easier to learn cause and effect in this game if I could speed the simulation up so I could see if my changes do anything.
 
Speaking of which do you know of any tips to increase simulation speed? I've found the "Rendering Options" mod with LOD set to "1" and "force low global quality" checked does help a small amount.

For reference I'm running this on a Ryzen 5950X with a Radeon RX 6900 XT and the game slows to a glacial pace pretty quickly. I don't know what folks are doing about this, if anything, other than suffering through it.

I think it would be easier to learn cause and effect in this game if I could speed the simulation up so I could see if my changes do anything.

I thought about it while I was writing it, it was embarrassingly slow...
And my PC isn't that bad either, it's a Ryzen 7 with a 3070 with plenty of RAM.
Oddly, I think graphics isn't the bottleneck. The game goes equally smooth on my desktop and on my laptop with a 2070. Even when it slows down to the point that cars stop moving, scrolling around still go very smooth.
I suspect it's just the simulation itself and it's CPU dependent. I have noticed that sometimes it speeds up suddenly and then it slows down again. Getting rid of traffic and starting to place walkways for pedestrians to remove road crossing seems to be improving things a bit.
But definitely no, I don't know how to speed up the game.
 
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This screen typically tells me all I need to know when it comes to cims desiring to live in low/med/high zoning. I still don't have the foggiest what makes people want any particular type of housing. But this mod does tell me what the demand is in the current moment and a sense of why.
Citizens ideally want a large house in a low land value area but also close to where they work. This is contradictory because the more people that desire this same ideal, the more land value rises raising the cost of rent (inversely, land value can be too low meaning an area is too far from work places).

Higher densities offer a compromise by allowing citizens to live closer to where they work while still being able to afford rent, but the drawback is that higher densities offer less living space.

There's further nuance added as different demographics of citizens lean towards certain densities, such as students being more geared towards higher densities if they are close to where they are going to school.

I've seen many players are adverse to building sprawling low density residential zones, but that's generally want citizens want provided the land value doesn't go up too fast. The balance to this is commuting distance.

As far as OP's case, it seems like there's more housing than what's needed. Land value is high because (presumably) the housing is very close to the workplaces, but once there's more housing available than there are jobs available, then there's no more need for housing. The solution here is to let whatever empty housing exists to fill with residents which will take some time. Alternatively, some high rise buildings can be demolished to reduce housing supply to a more manageable level.
 
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As far as OP's case, it seems like there's more housing than what's needed

That, at least in my case, it is true, but it's the effect of the game unbalance rather than the actual cause.
Without using the mod, the request for low and medium density areas go to zero and all existing buildings become empty, leading to the excess of empty properties, as ultimately only high density are required.
With the mod, things are more balanced. However, between the very slow simulation speed and very low rate of new arrivals into the city, this also leads to an excess of buildings, but in this case of medium and high density, which takes longer to get filled up, so ultimately I'm getting demand only of low density areas becuase they are the only ones that get filled up at a speed compatible with the other game dynamics.
 
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Patience is indeed the key. A lot of patience.
I have left my city running since this morning for about 7.5 hours, just building a bit here and there.
See the progression, from this:

View attachment 1082183

to this:

View attachment 1082184

I haven't built any high density, and they get sloooowly filled up.
The main issue is the increasing lack of highly educated workers, even without adding any commercial, industrial or office area, the demand keeps growing and growing a lot faster than population arriving.
Hi may I ask how did you get the information for the workforce structure and the residential data?
I've been trying to look for it but I can't see to find it.

Thanks in advance.
 
Hi may I ask how did you get the information for the workforce structure and the residential data?
I've been trying to look for it but I can't see to find it.

Thanks in advance.

It's one of the mods, it's called info loom if I remember correctly. I'm not at the pc right now and I can't check, but if you look in the mod list you should find it easily.
 
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