Real estate, at its core, is clearly a product that provides a place to live/work. But, just like every other market, what seems to be driving the price these days is savvy investors. So what does that mean for people using real estate to…well, live in?
The tendency since 2005 has been for Wall Street to buy up real estate, instate a new landlord with more stringent rules on tenants, and evict lower-income tenants in favour of those who can pay more. This action increases rents and will, in turn, increase the annual return that Wall Street receives. And who’s to say whether or not that’s wrong?
From a public policy standpoint, you can make a strong case that it is not desirable [for Wall Street money to be in this market], and equally strong you can say that housing regulators or authorities in New York and most other cities have been asleep at the wheel for the last five and 10 years — this stuff is going on everywhere. Time
The issue of whether Wall Street should be allowed to exert its influence over tenant rights is a question of political opinion, but one that is often overlooked since the idea of ‘buying real estate and increasing the annual return’ is fairly abstract to the general public.