Renters In Expensive Cities Have Reason To Oppose New Market-Rate Developments

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February 10, 2017

Unlike homeowners, who have a stake in property values and oppose new housing that could depreciate their own investments, renters are usually immune to NIMBYism—but not in some super-expensive markets.

CityLab reports that renters in places such as San Francisco oppose nearby market-rate housing developments.

As Michael Hankinson at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explained in a new paper, people with affordable rent in expensive cities are motivated to block new construction to preserve their rates. A new building next door, for example, could signal to other developers that the neighborhood is an undervalued investment, which could lead to increased rents, or even evictions (if the landlord chooses to renovate his or her property).

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