News and Commentary
In a Slow Boring blog post, Matt Yglesias discusses the case for parking reform. He writes the piece in the context of a bill recently passed by the California State Assembly that would prohibit local governments from implementing minimum parking requirements or developments located within a half-mile walk from public transit. First, he points out the importance in recognizing that simply removing minimum parking requirement won’t solve all parking-tangent problems. In some cases, other zoning regulations can reduce or even nullify the benefit of having no minimum parking requirements. Next, he argues that – like with most other goods – people should have the choice over whether or not to have parking. Market-pricing of parking is a viable alternative to enforced parking requirements, which create unnecessary inefficiencies. Matt also argues that parking requirements skew individual behavior in favor of driving, which diminishes the ability for alternative transportation options to take off in cities. Next, he argues that progressives arguments against policy changes on parking make little sense while potentially impeding meaningful progress. Finally, Matt argues that – although the regulatory desires of neighborhood residents are understandable – control over rules that govern land use should be possessed by the state government, not the local government.
In The Wall Street Journal, Ryan Dezember writes on the rising frequency of homes being sold to investment firms. Concern has been raised about such sales driving up home prices and creating a bubble as well as making it harder for ordinary Americans to compete in the housing market.
A new paper from NBER by Fabian Kindermann, Julia Le Blanc, Monika Piazzesi, and Martin Schneider examines the formation of housing price expectations during the recent boom in the German housing market. They find that location and tenure are the two key determinants of price forecasts. They also find that renters’ price forecasts tend to be more accurate than those of homeowners. They develop a theory that attributes this discrepancy to the fact that renters more easily receive housing price information by paying rent.