City Observatory reports that in Seatte, Denver and even Washington, DC average rents have begun falling following a huge increase in housing construction.
According to the article, rents in DC held steady, fell by $59 in Seattle and by $7 in Denver. Seattle is looking to fall even more considering around 20,000 more units are under construction.
This should be a lesson for policy makers in Boston, where NIMBYs have been known to prefer parking lots to new housing and deny that their behavior is in any way similar to other that of human beings in order to justify their (hardly unique) whining about parking.
At his recent state of the city address, Mayor Martin Walsh boasted about the 3,800 homes that were completed in 2015 and the 4,900 units started. A far cry from what’s going on in Seattle. His housing plan, for 53,000 new units by 2030, also seems remarkably unambitious when Seattle’s going to do almost half of that this year.
And during Boston’s most recent city council election, incumbent councilor-at-large Steve Murphy (who lost) said that Boston should have a moratorium on new construction. All because NIMBYs in West Roxbury created a neighborhood where you have to have a car to get around and so now they’re stuck in traffic all the time and can’t park in front of their houses. Unfortunately, they can get to the polls to vote.
This attitude is especially jarring when one looks at the most basic of issues: population. Seattle, Denver, Washington and Boston are 20th, 21st, 22nd and 24th in population in this country, seperated by just 13,000 people.