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[US Housing Crisis]: Hope you can afford Luxury housing in the capitalist hellscape

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  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Enc wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Enc wrote: »
    I'm not saying that the hotel market is AirB&B's fault. I'm saying that AirB&B is generally speaking designed to crowdsource lawbreaking and flagrant ignoring of zoning laws. If I live in a residential neighborhood, and my city has laws, taxes, and restrictions on short-term rentals, AirB&B should be subject to such. But they aren't.

    Or, in more common terms, everyone wants to stay at an AirB&B, no one wants to live in the next condo over from one when you bought in a long-term condominium community that doesn't allow rentals.

    This sounds a lot like the NIMBY zoning issues that are causing a housing crisis in the first place.

    There is a difference between NIMBY and taxing hotels. Hotels place a disproportionate strain on water, sewer, electrical, traffic, and roadway use due to high occupancy without having a significant a footprint to extract taxes upon them. They also create a significant amount of noise, which is why they are typically zoned in commercial areas. Those taxes exist to compensate the community for their use.

    For example, most of Florida has state and county (and often city) hotel taxes placed upon them. The same way that we have similar taxes upon our taxi and shuttle services, and our rental vehicles. Tourists use our roadways as much as locals but, without these taxes, do not pay into the costs to maintain them. Same with our other public services. Because of that, rather than placing regressive taxes that would hit only our poorest via state sales taxes, or just place it on property taxes (which could certainly be higher, but do already include these costs), we put the taxes out in a way that tries to tie usage to cost.

    Now, zoning commissions separate residential from hotels for fairly obvious reasons. Even medium and high density residential units are usually not adjacent to hotel uses unless the community is right on the edge of the zoning plat. This isn't NIMBY, but coding things for what they are supposed to be. A hotel is a commercial enterprise. It should be placed as such.

    Air B&B, Uber, and all these other services exist specifically to get around those restrictions, and they can be great for the consumers. But, again, they are terrible for the communities. Again, you don't buy into a residential zoned neighborhood or tower only to have your neighbors choose to turn their place into an AirB&B pad. That not only is against everything that went into the development and zoning of the community, but its frankly irresponsible and disrespectful to the other people who bought into that community.

    A residential property under short term rental is not going to be significantly higher density than it otherwise would be. The only difference in taxation vis a vis someone just loving there is I guess income tax? Applying appropriate taxes is fine but the rest of this is ridiculous.

    The rest of this has been law for decades, man.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    edited September 2019
    Enc wrote: »
    If Air B&B paid the same taxes, had the same insurance liability requirements, and all the other restrictions of rental properties...

    ...it would just be renting a house like you did, and still can do, circa forever ago-today.

    Renting a house for a week though.

    I know it's possible, because as I said, my family did this in the '80s. Holiday cottages weren't invented by techbro's in SF 10 years ago.

    Yeah, you can still do this. It costs more because of all of those city, county, and state requirements are factored in to the weekly rental fee. There are even apps that make it simple.

    In a lot of places, doing this within a city limit requires a specific permit and can be turned down, as well. Some communities in Central Florida have a city-wide ban on rentals under a 1-year lease because they don't want residential properties used as vacation properties (which is a big problem here as companies buy houses in residential districts for this purpose, breaking the housing markets). Those restrictions typically exist after major local problems have led to the need for the ordinance.

    Enc on
    SleeptynicArbitraryDescriptor
  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Enc wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Enc wrote: »
    I'm not saying that the hotel market is AirB&B's fault. I'm saying that AirB&B is generally speaking designed to crowdsource lawbreaking and flagrant ignoring of zoning laws. If I live in a residential neighborhood, and my city has laws, taxes, and restrictions on short-term rentals, AirB&B should be subject to such. But they aren't.

    Or, in more common terms, everyone wants to stay at an AirB&B, no one wants to live in the next condo over from one when you bought in a long-term condominium community that doesn't allow rentals.

    This sounds a lot like the NIMBY zoning issues that are causing a housing crisis in the first place.

    There is a difference between NIMBY and taxing hotels. Hotels place a disproportionate strain on water, sewer, electrical, traffic, and roadway use due to high occupancy without having a significant a footprint to extract taxes upon them. They also create a significant amount of noise, which is why they are typically zoned in commercial areas. Those taxes exist to compensate the community for their use.

    For example, most of Florida has state and county (and often city) hotel taxes placed upon them. The same way that we have similar taxes upon our taxi and shuttle services, and our rental vehicles. Tourists use our roadways as much as locals but, without these taxes, do not pay into the costs to maintain them. Same with our other public services. Because of that, rather than placing regressive taxes that would hit only our poorest via state sales taxes, or just place it on property taxes (which could certainly be higher, but do already include these costs), we put the taxes out in a way that tries to tie usage to cost.

    Now, zoning commissions separate residential from hotels for fairly obvious reasons. Even medium and high density residential units are usually not adjacent to hotel uses unless the community is right on the edge of the zoning plat. This isn't NIMBY, but coding things for what they are supposed to be. A hotel is a commercial enterprise. It should be placed as such.

    Air B&B, Uber, and all these other services exist specifically to get around those restrictions, and they can be great for the consumers. But, again, they are terrible for the communities. Again, you don't buy into a residential zoned neighborhood or tower only to have your neighbors choose to turn their place into an AirB&B pad. That not only is against everything that went into the development and zoning of the community, but its frankly irresponsible and disrespectful to the other people who bought into that community.

    A residential property under short term rental is not going to be significantly higher density than it otherwise would be. The only difference in taxation vis a vis someone just loving there is I guess income tax? Applying appropriate taxes is fine but the rest of this is ridiculous.

    The rest of this has been law for decades, man.

    So have the zoning laws that caused the housing crisis.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    Enc wrote: »
    If Air B&B paid the same taxes, had the same insurance liability requirements, and all the other restrictions of rental properties...

    ...it would just be renting a house like you did, and still can do, circa forever ago-today.

    Renting a house for a week though.

    I know it's possible, because as I said, my family did this in the '80s. Holiday cottages weren't invented by techbro's in SF 10 years ago.

    Yeah, you can still do this. It costs more because of all of those city, county, and state requirements are factored in to the weekly rental fee. There are even apps that make it simple.

    Such as?

  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    I would suggest for a similar situation look at airlines vs JetSuiteX.

    https://www.jsx.com/

    JSX is cheaper than big airlines, quicker than big airlines, and more comfortable than big airlines. All while violating every conceivable economies of scale rule which should make them not even close to competitive.

    Why is this? Because the big airlines have cut capacity, quality, and choice while bumping prices to achieve easier profits and 100% load factor on every flight. They have done this through exploiting barriers to entry and conspiratorial behavior to prevent competition emerging.

    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Enc wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Enc wrote: »
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Enc wrote: »
    I'm not saying that the hotel market is AirB&B's fault. I'm saying that AirB&B is generally speaking designed to crowdsource lawbreaking and flagrant ignoring of zoning laws. If I live in a residential neighborhood, and my city has laws, taxes, and restrictions on short-term rentals, AirB&B should be subject to such. But they aren't.

    Or, in more common terms, everyone wants to stay at an AirB&B, no one wants to live in the next condo over from one when you bought in a long-term condominium community that doesn't allow rentals.

    This sounds a lot like the NIMBY zoning issues that are causing a housing crisis in the first place.

    There is a difference between NIMBY and taxing hotels. Hotels place a disproportionate strain on water, sewer, electrical, traffic, and roadway use due to high occupancy without having a significant a footprint to extract taxes upon them. They also create a significant amount of noise, which is why they are typically zoned in commercial areas. Those taxes exist to compensate the community for their use.

    For example, most of Florida has state and county (and often city) hotel taxes placed upon them. The same way that we have similar taxes upon our taxi and shuttle services, and our rental vehicles. Tourists use our roadways as much as locals but, without these taxes, do not pay into the costs to maintain them. Same with our other public services. Because of that, rather than placing regressive taxes that would hit only our poorest via state sales taxes, or just place it on property taxes (which could certainly be higher, but do already include these costs), we put the taxes out in a way that tries to tie usage to cost.

    Now, zoning commissions separate residential from hotels for fairly obvious reasons. Even medium and high density residential units are usually not adjacent to hotel uses unless the community is right on the edge of the zoning plat. This isn't NIMBY, but coding things for what they are supposed to be. A hotel is a commercial enterprise. It should be placed as such.

    Air B&B, Uber, and all these other services exist specifically to get around those restrictions, and they can be great for the consumers. But, again, they are terrible for the communities. Again, you don't buy into a residential zoned neighborhood or tower only to have your neighbors choose to turn their place into an AirB&B pad. That not only is against everything that went into the development and zoning of the community, but its frankly irresponsible and disrespectful to the other people who bought into that community.

    A residential property under short term rental is not going to be significantly higher density than it otherwise would be. The only difference in taxation vis a vis someone just loving there is I guess income tax? Applying appropriate taxes is fine but the rest of this is ridiculous.

    The rest of this has been law for decades, man.

    So have the zoning laws that caused the housing crisis.

    Sure, I talked as much on previous pages in this very thread.

    But there is a difference between [talking about what density is good for a local economy] and [talking about if commercial and residential zoning need to be separate]. The former is the problem with the housing market, the latter is a problem with the regulation-skirting apps problem.

    Both are problems. But unrelated ones.

    mcdermottshryke
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    edited September 2019
    Enc wrote: »
    Enc wrote: »
    If Air B&B paid the same taxes, had the same insurance liability requirements, and all the other restrictions of rental properties...

    ...it would just be renting a house like you did, and still can do, circa forever ago-today.

    Renting a house for a week though.

    I know it's possible, because as I said, my family did this in the '80s. Holiday cottages weren't invented by techbro's in SF 10 years ago.

    Yeah, you can still do this. It costs more because of all of those city, county, and state requirements are factored in to the weekly rental fee. There are even apps that make it simple.

    Such as?

    Booking.com, Zillow, Tripadvisor, etc. Most also include AirB&B now, but most also predate AirB&B.

    Most cities also have rental agency sites, there are dozens of sites that collect every holiday rental in Florida, for example.

    Enc on
    mcdermott
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Zillow is a regular home listing site, not a holiday home site. I think we are talking about different things.

    Booking.com and Tripadvisor act as booking services for hotels.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    edited September 2019
    I have, and likely will continue to, booked holiday house rentals using Booking and Trip Advisors. Zillow also has a service for short term rentals, but I haven't used it.

    I mean, it takes 10 seconds to verify this:
    https://www.tripadvisor.com/VacationRentals-g48975-Reviews-Boone_North_Carolina-Vacation_Rentals.html

    Enc on
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    So Booking.com and Tripadvisor holiday home rentals pay the correct taxes? They don't make a big deal of that on their website if so.

    I couldn't find a holiday rental service on Zillow at all so if it exists, it must be very buried.

  • VishNubVishNub Registered User regular
    edited September 2019
    There are companies that do this almost everywhere. Very often they are relatively local businesses.

    Look up "vacation rentals + your destination"

    Here's one in California
    https://www.mammothsierraonline.com

    Texas
    https://www.portaescapes.com/vacation-rentals/

    Maine
    https://acadiamagic.com/acadia-lodging/vacation_rentals.html

    VishNub on
    DoodmannEncmcdermotttynic
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    VishNub wrote: »
    There are companies that do this almost everywhere. Very often they are relatively local businesses.

    Yeah, rather like those 10,000 local taxi cab firms that Uber made obsolete on convenience, not price.

    I think AirBnB has a good business model even if complying with regulations on holiday homes.

    Doodmannredx
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    VishNub wrote: »
    There are companies that do this almost everywhere. Very often they are relatively local businesses.

    Yeah, rather like those 10,000 local taxi cab firms that Uber made obsolete on convenience, not price.

    I think AirBnB has a good business model even if complying with regulations on holiday homes.

    Uber competes on price. It's why they and all the other similar companies keep losing money like it's their goal.

    Knight_EncCantido
  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Your thinking about hotel staffing in a very antiquated way. Yeah, sure, maybe the manager is full time, but 99% of the staff in those buildings are contractors who only come in when there is work.

    Also, if your concept is that say, Hilton International is paying a higher effective rate of tax on profits than Johnny Briggs who rents out his mums old house in Florida then your highly confused. Hotel occupancy taxes are levied on the people renting the rooms as an additional line item, and adding them to the cost of an AirBnB doesn't even come close to lining things up.

    ADA compliance has some merit to consider, but, hotels only have a fraction of their rooms ADA compliant. I cannot imagine that the additional space required for facilities in those few rooms comes close to the fact that say, a single family home almost certainly has a garage, and a garden, and 300 square feet of closets in efficiency.

    Maybe theres inefficiencies to be found in the zoning? Where as others have said hotels are forced into dense commercial areas (certainly not true everywhere, and again, AirBnB beats hotels EVERYWHERE) But, the logic which says, "Hotels are noisy and must be in commercial zones" doesn't apply to someone renting a single house.

    I know a lot of people in hospitality and this is not accurate.

    11793-1.png
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    QEDMF xbl: PantsB G+
    EncshrykeCauldSkeith
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    PantsB wrote: »
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Your thinking about hotel staffing in a very antiquated way. Yeah, sure, maybe the manager is full time, but 99% of the staff in those buildings are contractors who only come in when there is work.

    Also, if your concept is that say, Hilton International is paying a higher effective rate of tax on profits than Johnny Briggs who rents out his mums old house in Florida then your highly confused. Hotel occupancy taxes are levied on the people renting the rooms as an additional line item, and adding them to the cost of an AirBnB doesn't even come close to lining things up.

    ADA compliance has some merit to consider, but, hotels only have a fraction of their rooms ADA compliant. I cannot imagine that the additional space required for facilities in those few rooms comes close to the fact that say, a single family home almost certainly has a garage, and a garden, and 300 square feet of closets in efficiency.

    Maybe theres inefficiencies to be found in the zoning? Where as others have said hotels are forced into dense commercial areas (certainly not true everywhere, and again, AirBnB beats hotels EVERYWHERE) But, the logic which says, "Hotels are noisy and must be in commercial zones" doesn't apply to someone renting a single house.

    I know a lot of people in hospitality and this is not accurate.

    Hell, hospitality seems to be unionizing more and more these days afaik.

    Doodmann
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited September 2019
    PantsB wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    Anyway, to support one of Lanz's points, our national mythos that housing is an investment is really a major driver behind this crisis.

    Housing can either be:

    A) Affordable to the middle class over the long term.
    B) A safe investment for the middle class over the long term.

    Choose one.

    Why?

    If the median cost of housing grows faster than inflation, you have B, but eventually housing becomes less and less affordable to people of finite means.

    If real wages keep pace with the cost of housing, then you have A, but that means that housing values aren't appreciating fast enough to be a good long-term investment.

    And that says nothing of the small decisions we make along the way - city planning departments catering to NIMBYs who argue that undesirable developments (like homeless shelters) reduce their property values, or homeowners associations issuing restrictions that ultimately keep housing prices higher.

    Phasing out the mortgage interest deduction would be an excellent start.

    Or C. A good investment in that it retains its relative value while costing less than rental in the long term.

    I also don't think real estate being an investment is some kind of modern American invention. It certainly predates the United States and has roots all the way back in agrarian societies.

    I think a lot of this hinges on what we mean by "investment."

    1) The idea that land has value is as old as agriculture, but that's different from what I'm talking about as real estate as an investment. Just to clarify, I'm referring to the notion that a residence will appreciate faster than inflation by default, just by virtue of existing, without requiring more than basic maintenance by the owner.

    2) Referring to an asset that holds its value, but does not appreciate faster than inflation, as an "investment" is really stretching the meaning of the word.

    3) Even if housing did not appreciate faster than inflation, it may still be economical to replace your rental housing with owner-occupied housing. Similarly, that doesn't make it an "investment." To compare, it may be more economical to buy a car than to use taxis and Uber, even after taking into account the car's depreciation. We might casually call a car an "investment" in that case, but I think we'd agree that's a very loose sense of the term. If I went into our financial literacy thread and said that I was buying a car "as an investment" I'd expect to receive a lot of resistance... or at least many requests for clarification.

    4) As for this,
    PantsB wrote:
    I also don't think real estate being an investment is some kind of modern American invention. It certainly predates the United States and has roots all the way back in agrarian societies.

    Eh, kinda sorta. Still depends a lot on our definition of that word "investment."

    Like I said above, the idea that land has value is as old as agriculture. And, obviously, the United States tied political representation to land ownership in the original incarnation of our Constitution. But prior to roughly the mid-20th century, a parcel's value had to be extracted by productive labor - either by farming it or by developing on it. When and where land appreciation (separate from your own productive labor) was, er, appreciated (pun intended), it was largely still viewed in the context of labor; it was just the labor of your neighbors and community causing your land value to appreciate. Example, from Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations: "Ground-rents, so far as they exceed the ordinary rent of land, are altogether owing to the good government of the sovereign, which, by protecting the industry either of the whole people, or of the inhabitants of some particular place, enables them to pay so much more than its real value for the ground which they build their houses upon."

    To quote real estate economist Robert Shiller, author of Irrational Exuberance, the notion of housing-as-investment was "an idea that took hold in the early 2000s." I think he's overstating the case a little bit; I'd argue that it really started to take hold in the 1960s and just peaked in the early 2000s.

    Shiller tracked housing values across the 20th century and found that housing wasn't a particularly good investment until after WW2. (The graph comes from a personal blog, but the numbers come from Shiller.)

    z7R1wRNl.jpg

    Between the Homestead Act and the "Own Your Own Home" campaign of the 1920s, the US government (and realtor organizations) occasionally tried to incentivize home ownership, to mixed results. Despite all that, until post-WW2 period, the majority of Americans rented. (The US Census reported homeownership rates of 45.6% in 1920 and 47.8% in 1930. It skyrocketed after WW2, growing to 55% in 1950. Virtually all of that increase was during the post-war period of 1945-1950.) The US government established the FHA, Fannie Mae, and HOLC (Home Owners' Loan Corporation) during the New Deal to purchase defaulted mortgages from lenders, help underwater owners refinance, and stimulate the economy by infusing the real estate market with more liquidity.

    WW2 delayed the economic effects of these programs due to a massive reduction of new housing starts as construction materials and labor were diverted to the war effort. After WWII, the GI Bill further incentivized mortgage lending. The combination of these policies transformed the structure of mortgages: before 1930, mortgages were high-interest and typically required what we now call "balloon payments" at the end of the term, making them infeasible for most Americans. The New Deal was largely responsible for introducing the 30-year, low-interest, fixed-interest loan that we know today. (An excellent discussion of these trends can be found in UC Davis tax law scholar Dennis Ventry's paper The Accidental Deduction on the mortgage interest deduction.)

    Basically, before the New Deal programs existed, mortgages were expensive. Housing was seen as a risky investment, and banks assumed that the houses themselves would depreciate and adjusted their lending fees accordingly. Most mortgages were short-term, high-interest, and had (what we now call) balloon payments at the end. Building equity meant literally building it - constructing new buildings or adding physical improvements to the home.

    Critically, the FHA realized in the 50s and 60s that reducing the risk on underwriting mortgages meant developing actuarial methods for estimating the predicted appreciation or depreciation of housing. This allowed lenders to focus on the houses most likely to appreciate. Multiple tax reforms from the 1950s continuing through the 1990s made home ownership less and less of a burden and, eventually, we hit an inflection point where owning your own home became profitable in-and-of-itself (though where that exact inflection point was is open to some debate).

    From HUD's report, Housing in the 1970s (PDF link; emphasis mine.)
    Investment decisions concerning real estate traditionally have been strongly influenced by tax considerations. Prior to enactment of the Tax Reform Act of 1969, the tax code did not provide different tax incentives for residential and nonresidential property although the incentives available for investment in new properties were greater than those provided for used property investments. As a result, investment in higher risk, less profitable ventures such as housing, particularly housing for low and moderate income families, was discouraged by the tax laws. Furthermore, after the Great Depression, real estate investment tended to go into business development, such as office buildings, rather than into residential housing.

    The 50s and 60s further cemented homeownership as an American value through a confluence of political arguments and advertising. Congresspeople arguing to maintain funding for FHA and Fannie Mae positioned owner-occupied housing as a social good. During those decades, states and the federal government toyed with the idea of taxing imputed rent on owner-occupied homes, but the housing construction lobby, now flush with cash from the post-war housing boom, vigorously opposed it. And, as poverty historian Marisa Chappell described in WaPo, politicians and businessmen with more racist motivations deliberately positioned homeownership as the capitalist, free market, patriotic, white American dream as opposed to the dirty, Communist, inefficient, poor, brown alternative of public housing. Meanwhile, you had the establishment of Freddie Mac in the 1970s and the creation of GSEs in the 1990s - both of which expanded the availability of mortgages. Savings and loans - which were established after the creation of the FHA in the 1930s - were given more and more privileges by Congress and the Federal Reserve from the 1960s through the 1980s.

    Another factor that promoted that shift in the 1970s was inflation. Inflation plus the 1973 stock market crash pummeled the liquid assets of most American households. However, housing prices rose as the dollar lost its value. By 1980, many American families saw their house as a stable investment but were soured on stocks and other liquid assets.

    We can see some of this reflected in the debate over the mortgage interest deduction. (That Ventry paper I linked above is an excellent resource about that.) Originally, the mortgage interest deduction wasn't it's own carve-out. Rather, for most of the history of the US income tax code, people could deduct any personal debt interest payments. It wasn't until the late 1950s that this practice started to get scrutinized; the 1970s saw an explosion in the personal credit card market, increasing pressure on the US government to end the personal interest deduction, which they finally abolished in 1986. When it was abolished, Congress was careful to carve out mortgage interest as its own deduction. To quote Ronald Reagan regarding the mortgage interest exception in the 1986 tax code, "I also stressed that I strongly agreed with the home mortgage interest deduction, which is so vital to millions of hard-working Americans. And in case there’s still any doubt, I want you to know we will preserve that part of the American dream."

    Today, we've incentivized homeownership to such a degree that being a middle-class or upper-middle-class homeowner means you're the recipient of some of the government's most generous programs. In aggregate, our housing policies effectively comprise a perennial wealth transfer from renters to owners which in turn drives economic inequality.

    edit: just a bit of phrasing clarification

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Home ownership as an investment in that it is a store of wealth is literally how it's refereed to in basically every discussion, both for and against the idea.

    DoodmannFencingsaxCouscousCantido
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