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https://www.politico.eu/article/berlin-rent-prices-housing-m...

Berlin’s housing market has tightened considerably in recent years as newcomers from elsewhere in Germany, Europe and beyond have flocked to the German capital. As a result of the influx, rents across much of Berlin have doubled over the past decade and are rising faster than in any other German city, far outpacing income growth.

Investors and most economists warn that proposed rent controls will only worsen the crisis by stifling investment in new construction and fueling a black market for flats.

Those arguments have largely fallen on deaf ears, however. For many locals, “investor” is a four-letter word. Giving capitalists more influence would be tantamount to treason.

A local initiative recently collected nearly 80,000 signatures supporting the expropriation of apartments owned by large corporate landlords, a step Berlin’s government — a coalition of the Social Democrats, the Left and the Greens — is now considering.

Looks like Berlin may move past socialism to communism.
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<<A local initiative recently collected nearly 80,000 signatures supporting the expropriation of apartments owned by large corporate landlords, a step Berlin’s government — a coalition of the Social Democrats, the Left and the Greens — is now considering.

Looks like Berlin may move past socialism to communism.>>


No one seems tio mention the million plus immigrants added to Germany's population recently. Most seem to head for big cities, not being interested in milking cows and such.


That's true in Seattle as well, where people proclaim Seattle to be a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants and simultaneous wring their hands over the burgeoning population of unhoused "homeless."


It never seems to occur to people that if the illegals were sent home, there would be housing for legal residents.



Seattle Pioneer
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Looks like Berlin may move past socialism to communism.

In (West) Berlin I was told that East Berlin Germans have remained communists -- freeloaders by another name.

The Captain
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It never seems to occur to people that if the illegals were sent home, there would be housing for legal residents.

It never seems to occur to people that if the worker shortage is to be fixed, there must be more housing--because there would be nowhere for them to live if it wasn't built. No available housing = no more workers in that economy.
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<<No. of Recommendations: 0
It never seems to occur to people that if the illegals were sent home, there would be housing for legal residents.

It never seems to occur to people that if the worker shortage is to be fixed, there must be more housing--because there would be nowhere for them to live if it wasn't built. No available housing = no more workers in that economy.>>


It's not the government's job to guarantee business supplies of cheap labor.


If businesses can't find people legally entitled to work for them who WANT to work for them, they can go out of business.


We should be shipping those not entitled to reside in the United States home and freeing up housing for those legally entitled to live here.



Seattle Pioneer
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It's not the government's job to guarantee business supplies of cheap labor.

In principle, I agree. However, the "leaders and statesmen" in Michigan's capital don't agree. The stated intent of the work requirements imposed to qualify for Medicaid was not to reduce costs, as policing the work requirement would cost more than it might save. The stated intent was to force people to take the crap minimum wage positions the "job creator class" can't fill at minimum wage, and doesn't want to pay more to compete for willing workers.

Steve
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It's not the government's job to guarantee business supplies of cheap labor.

Then why are they doing so by their (in)actions?

If businesses can't find people legally entitled to work for them who WANT to work for them, they can go out of business.

Why do you want to put the "job creators" out of business? They need ANOTHER TAX CUT !!!

We should be shipping those not entitled to reside in the United States home and freeing up housing for those legally entitled to live here.

Why do you support so many ENTITLEMENTS?
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We should be shipping those not entitled to reside in the United States home and freeing up housing for those legally entitled to live here.
Seattle Pioneer


Far, far, one more time FAR too rational... which is precisely why the solution will never be implemented!
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We should be shipping those not entitled to reside in the United States home and freeing up housing for those legally entitled to live here.
Seattle Pioneer


Far, far, one more time FAR too rational... which is precisely why the solution will never be implemented!

It doesn't make a lick of sense, if you think about it. Housing is a commodity. If there is a demand for it, developers will build more units. The Case-Schiller index shows that inflation-adjusted housing prices have only just barely risen over the past decades, even as new houses become larger and better appointed. While there might be local variations, and of course things got out of whack during the housing bubble, the data say convincingly that overall supply ultimately meets overall demand.

Since undocumented residents are part of the demand deporting them would increase supply and drop prices. But that would builders out of work until inventory dropped enough that building houses was profitable again.

Just because I know this is coming: None of the above says anything about what our national policy on undocumented should be. It just says that deporting illegals will only have a small, short term effect and will negatively impact domestic home builders. Hoping otherwise is foolhardy.
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That was a good article. After WWII, Berlin was partitioned and West Berlin was surrounded by the former East Germany, which was an obviously undesirable feature. When the wall came down, East Berlin was basically a dump, and not much had been going on in West Berlin. The result was Berlin was a dirt cheap place to live. The result of that was Berlin was a great place for artists, musicians, and people could easily open their own bars, restaurants, galleries, etc. The result of that was Berlin became super hip and cool. The result of THAT was that Berlin has recently become expensive.

Last month some friends loaned us their apartment for a week in the Prenzlauer Berg district of Berlin.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prenzlauer_Berg

I must say, it is pretty cool. We almost never left the neighborhood. We've been to Berlin many times before, so we've seen the main sights so we didn't have a to-do list, but it was plenty interesting just exploring the few blocks around the apartment.

The result though, is that Prenzlauer Berg has gone from a place where artists used to squat in abandoned buildings to super-pricey real estate. I can see why Berliners are shocked at the change.
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<<Since undocumented residents are part of the demand deporting them would increase supply and drop prices. But that would builders out of work until inventory dropped enough that building houses was profitable again.

Just because I know this is coming: None of the above says anything about what our national policy on undocumented should be. It just says that deporting illegals will only have a small, short term effect and will negatively impact domestic home builders. Hoping otherwise is foolhardy.>>



There are reputed to be 500,000 homeless in the United States, and eleven million illegals living in the United States.


I'll be glad to start mass deportations of illegals and expect to give the homeless a crack at the now vacant housing.


Seattle had mass layoffs of Boeing workers circa 1970, resulting in mass abandonment of houses as workers moved away and left behind their houses. I returned to Seattle from Detroit in 1976 and Seattle at that time looked A LOT like Detropit, with large numbers of houses being boarded up and repoed by HUD and banks.


I bought some of those up circa 1985-1987, when there was still surplus housing unused.

Circa 1970, housing was VERY cheap when I was a college student. Actually, housing across the country tended to be quite cheap because many people had left behind homes in urban areas to build new homes in the suburbs. That was a choice opportunity fro African Americans to buy homes in Seattle and other cities, because they were cheap and abundant.

I see no reason why shipping home illegals would not provide cheaper rents and more abundant housing for our current crop of homeless.


As a college student, I lived in downtown Seattle and was a Democratic Precinct Committeeman. I visited people to register them to vote, which included Seattle flop houses in my precinct. These were second floor buildings above downtown retail stores in concrete buildings that were steam heated. The space was divided up into 10x10 foot chicken wire spaces that people could lock themselves into and rent for a dollar or two a night. Pretty good housing compared to a tent in the woods.


The Seattle City Council passed a law closing down that cheap housing. That was circa 1972.


Seattle Pioneer
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<<The result though, is that Prenzlauer Berg has gone from a place where artists used to squat in abandoned buildings to super-pricey real estate. I can see why Berliners are shocked at the change.>>


So what is the impact of a million refugees coming into Germany on Berlin housing availability and prices?



Seattle Pioneer
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Housing is a commodity. If there is a demand for it, developers will build more units.

Where is there the greatest need for new housing?

Where is there the most regulation making it difficult to get permits to build new housing, and driving up actual construction costs?

Answer to both of the above: big metropolitan areas.

----

The people who need housing and are having a hard time finding it, what sort of housing can they afford?

What sort of housing attracts the attention of regulators who try to impose constantly-rising standards, driving the cost up even for already-existing housing units?

What sort of housing do builders like to build?

What sort of housing do the regulations force builders to build?

The answer to the first two of these four questions: cheap housing.

The answer to the last two questions: expensive housing.

----

If you put the invisible hand in a straitjacket, it doesn't do much.
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There are reputed to be 500,000 homeless in the United States, and eleven million illegals living in the United States.


I'll be glad to start mass deportations of illegals and expect to give the homeless a crack at the now vacant housing.


The "invisible hand" says the homeless can bid against the illegals for the housing. Only "socialists" would demand government intervention to make housing available for people who can't pay a market rate for it.

Steve...couldn't pass up the cheap shot.
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Housing is a commodity. If there is a demand for it, developers will build more units.

Only if the price makes it worth supplying that demand.
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The people who need housing and are having a hard time finding it, what sort of housing can they afford?

What sort of housing attracts the attention of regulators who try to impose constantly-rising standards, driving the cost up even for already-existing housing units?

What sort of housing do builders like to build?

What sort of housing do the regulations force builders to build?

The answer to the first two of these four questions: cheap housing.

The answer to the last two questions: expensive housing.

----

If you put the invisible hand in a straitjacket, it doesn't do much.


That's a catchy line, but by most measures housing in the U.S. is more affordable than it was from 1990-2008. Nominal prices are around mid-2000 prices, but interest rates are lower which makes houses easier to buy for most people.

Some markets are hot, some markets are dying. All real estate is local. It has been that way as long as there have been real estate markets. Overall, there is no indication there is any national shortage of housing or that housing is unusually expensive. As I mentioned, the Case-Schiller index shows little price appreciation over the last few decades, even as houses have become bigger.

So I'm skeptical the problem is even remotely as big as people are making it out to be.
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After WWII, Berlin was partitioned and West Berlin was surrounded by the former East Germany, which was an obviously undesirable feature. When the wall came down, East Berlin was basically a dump, and not much had been going on in West Berlin. The result was Berlin was a dirt cheap place to live. The result of that was Berlin was a great place for artists, musicians, and people could easily open their own bars, restaurants, galleries, etc. The result of that was Berlin became super hip and cool. The result of THAT was that Berlin has recently become expensive.


A major factor was the government deciding to make Berlin Germany‘s capital (from Bonn) following reunification. That instantaneously resulted in a large treck of politicians, bureaucrats, administrators, lobbyists etc. moving there.

Plus it attracted attention of yield-hungry investors happy to direct a portion of the trillions sloshing around the globe towards the city on the rationale of Berlin now ‚having to catch up‘ price-wise with London and Paris. So soaring house prices and rents are meeting a population with relatively low income which is resulting in ‘interesting‘ (if probably futile) politics.
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It doesn't make a lick of sense, if you think about it. Housing is a commodity. If there is a demand for it, developers will build more units.

Wanting a house is not "demand." Wanting a house and having the means to buy it is "demand." An illegal immigrant might want a place to live but having no way to pay for it, he is not creating demand.

Want is not demand which is the basis of Say's Law. To create demand you must first produce something that has market value.

Illegal immigrants with jobs do create demand. Rent controls lower demand by lowering prices.

I used to buy pharmaceutical stocks. I stopped after the government started price controls. Lower price, lower demand, lower profits, better stocks elsewhere.

The Captain
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Wanting a house is not "demand." Wanting a house and having the means to buy it is "demand." An illegal immigrant might want a place to live but having no way to pay for it, he is not creating demand.

Agreed. But SP was positing that illegals are currently occupying housing that could be used by legal residents instead. In his scenario, they are contributing to housing demand.
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