Ever since zoning was invented in the 1920s, homeowners have argued that limits on density and on multifamily housing are necessary to protect property values. But today, urban NIMBYs seek to prevent new housing on the ground that new housing will lead to gentrification, which will in turn lead to increased property values, which in turn will lead to rising rents and displacement.
Similarly, I often read that cities and suburbs shouldn’t have any new housing because they might become “too dense” or “overcrowded.” (Never mind that when there’s not enough housing to go around, excluded residents respond not by leaving the city, but by sleeping on the streets, thus making the city feel even more crowded).
But at the same time, I also read that building new housing is futile, because it will all be bought up by foreign oligarchs, who (because they aren’t quite greedy enough to rent out their property) cause the housing to be lifeless and unoccupied. It is not quite clear to me how the city can be overcrowded and undercrowded at the same time, but evidently this view seems to be common.
texasdiver saysAugust 14, 2017 at 9:03 pm
“Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.” -Yogi Berra
Peter Samuel saysAugust 16, 2017 at 11:14 am
Here in Frederick MD the most common argument I’ve heard against ‘gentrification’ is that increased property values will lead to higher property tax bills. Many people who want to stay put in the house they own don’t see the upside of being able to sell at a higher price.
Stephen Nestel saysSeptember 5, 2017 at 12:51 pm
Actually upzoning property generally leads to an INCREASE of property values not decrease. As economic use intensifies, the land has more values. What so called “NIMBYS” want is to maintain qualities of neighborhood, not maximum property values. Homes/Neighborhoods hold a very emotional connection that money cannot buy.