Don Boudreaux comments on a WNYC report, De Blasio’s Affordable Housing Fight Shifts to Neighborhood Battles:
If I understand this report correctly, some homeowners in NYC are now receiving an unusually large number of offers from people to buy their homes. (Presumably, these would-be home buyers have reason to believe that the value of these properties will be driven up, in one form or another, by Mayor de Blasio’s scheme.) Yet this report, and Hizzoner, seem to think that such offers are a problem for current homeowners rather than a blessing.
It’s true, I suppose, that one can be mightily annoyed at receiving an unsolicited
sales purchase call in the evening, or be miffed at having to pull lots of purchase offers from one’s mailbox. But speaking as a homeowner, I can truthfully report that I’d be more than pleased to endure such inconveniences. The reason is that such inconveniences imply that the market value of my home is rising, and probably rising significantly. I should be so cursed!
Mayor de Blasio’s response to this particular “problem” is, for lack of a better word, interesting. I wonder if the Mayor realizes that an easy and sure solution to not selling one’s home is already, and readily, available without any government intervention whatsoever. This solution is simply for a homeowner to say “no” to any and all unattractive offers to buy. No special legislation is required to implement this solution. No government heroics are necessary. No protests by community ‘activists’ are needed. Every homeowner individually possesses the right to refuse any and all offers to buy his or her home. Thus, current homeowners are already (to use the Mayor’s bizarre term) “protected” from speculators.
Of course, there is one set of instances in which homeowners are not so protected from buyers – namely, when buyers (I should say “buyers”) use the power of eminent domain to acquire property. When eminent domain is used, current owners have no right to refuse to sell. I wonder if Hizzoner is as ill-disposed to “buyers” who forcibly acquire property using the power of eminent domain as he seems to be toward “speculators” who merely offer to buy? Alas, likely not. From what I know of this clownish Mayor, he likely regards those who acquire property by force (through eminent domain) as progressive public servants while he regards private developers who acquire property only when owners voluntarily sell to them to be anti-social predators.
Tha above originally appeared at Cafe Hayek.