Housing Supply Dynamics under Rent Control: What Can Evictions Tell Us?
Measuring how rent-controlled landlords change their housing supply in response to rent increases is difficult, because new construction is automatically exempt. This paper explores evictions as a barometer for landlords’ willingness to return their units to market when prices increase using San Francisco data. I find no evidence that controlled landlords turnover existing tenants to return their units to market, and some evidence they instead withdraw individual units. I also look at other ways of exiting controls, and find that small landlords are 54 percent more likely to first apply to condo-convert when condo prices rise 5.4 percent.