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Realty Bites

Here are two short and somewhat related blog posts I like: First, Gawker has a refreshing message for folks who complain when neighborhoods get cleaner and safer:

The whole Williamsburg/hipster-takeover/affordable housing thing is blowing out of control between the newspapers and the bloggers today. Listen people: we don't WANT all of you to have affordable housing. If you can't afford to live here, good. It's called natural selection by finance. It wouldn't kill you to live in some nice square state somewhere else, with other people like you. Walmart needs employees.

And Jane Galt answers the age-old question:

Why is it so hard for young single people to find one bedroom apartments in New York?

Because married people with children are still living in the $700 rent-stabilised one bedroom they [cough] inherited [/cough] rather than move.

And paying hundreds of dollars less for almost twice the square footage, than your humble (and humbly compensated) correspondant.

Rent control is but one of many answers. One can also blame:

  • "Affordable housing" laws that discourage development and redevelopment

  • Anti-development and anti-gentrification activists who fight every last building project in the city

  • The peculiar local custom that has tenants, not landlords, paying the cost of a realtor (thus further reducing the incentive to move)

  • The lack of a multiple listing service (which reduces the supply of apartments available to each realtor).

  • And snobby young single people who wouldn't dream of moving to an outer borough.

As wrongheaded as rent control is, that last group is key. These young single people *can* find relatively affordable one bedroom apartments in the city - if they're willing to move to good, safe, convenient, but uncool neighborhoods such as Sunnyside or Greenpoint. (And then endure the complaints of those who say they're bad people for helping to "gentrify" said neighborhoods.)


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 25, 2004 5:53 PM.

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