Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Next Twinkle in Hillary Clinton's eye: Rent Control

I assume that Hillary Clinton will win the next presidency.  It's a fair assumption given the discovery by the 60% of citizens who don't pay tax that they can vote themselves benefits from the treasury.  I also assume that at some point in the next 10 years, interest rates will go up and a certain amount of
inflation will return.  Rising interest rates will make it difficult to afford houses so it's safe to assume the next generation will do more renting.  Depending on how fast baby boomers die off, (making housing available for the next generation), I'm thinking rents will go up.  Rising rents would be a combination of inflationary pressures, as well as increased demand for rentals if there isn't enough supply.  This will be a bigger problem in the larger cities obviously.

Yesterday, the US government reduced the maximum amount FHA loans could be made for.  The pressure not to fund "rich people" to have big houses is evident in the current administration and will continue.  The government doesn't mind helping the average Joe get a low down payment loan, but is loathe to help someone in Reno into a house costing more than $325,000 (The limit for 2014 in Washoe County)

In Germany, France, and UK where a larger number of people live in rentals,  rent caps are being discussed.  Surprisingly, they are being endorsed by both the left and the right and were promised during election campaigns.  Conservative (by European standards) center right Chancellor Angela Merkel supports them.  The french are expected to cap rents in Paris and other cities.  Investors are highly critical of rent controls, saying it will lead to reduced maintenance of properties.

While New York has struggled with rent control for decades, I have no doubt that when rent price pressures ratchet up that Ms. Clinton will be the first to propose rent controls at the federal level.  The assault on private property rights continues....

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