Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Renter Nation

Rents are up, so this should be going the other way.

Builders in the U.S. broke ground on fewer homes than forecast in May as a slump in the construction of apartments swamped a pickup in single-family houses.

This is a tangential thought, but I do think those people who think that a) we do too much to encourage homeownership and b) even after the crash perhaps more people own homes than is ideal, really need to think seriously about heresies such as rent control. A big reason people buy is that it allows them to lock in a rent and have worry free (absent banksters stealing your home, of course) stability in a neighborhood long term. Especially for people wanting to put their kids through the local schools, that stability is a big draw. Protections for long term tenants, including limits on rent increases, would make renting a more attractive proposition for people.

I'm not talking about a hard firm lock in your rent forever rent control, just some dampening of price spikes for long term tenants.