Blatant idiot in The Guardian

I think it\’s wrong some landlords have strings of properties. It restricts supply,

Yes, there you have it. More suppliers supplying more of something is a restriction of supply.

What in hell can we do when half the population thinks along these lines?

11 comments on “Blatant idiot in The Guardian

  1. Julia,

    Your touching faith in the presence of common sense in the Guardian readership is most unlike you. Are you ill?

  2. What he actually means is that it restricts competition. Which is true. And would be a fair point, particularly in some locations where a relatively small number of landlords (including, of course, subsidised housing associations) control a significant proportion of the market.

    But he can’t say that, because to do so would mean admitting that competition is good. And that would be a step too far for the average Guardian writer.

  3. It restricts the supply of homes for purchase since buy-to-let generally compete for properties with first time buyers at the bottom end of the market. Reduced supply of affordable homes forces them to rent, thereby increasing demand for rental and driving up rents

  4. Iain #4

    So increased supply of buy-to-let properties available to rent increases rents…..

    Didn’t know that reading the Guardian could be contagious.

  5. The standard assumption would be that it is difficult for a switch in supply between two moderately fungible goods to lead to an increase in the price of the increase-supplied good. And the levels of rise and fall would depend on the elasticity of the various markets.

    Yet we don’t really have an efficient market in housing in the UK. You have the whole mortgage debt problem, where a fall in demand does not necessarily lead to a fall in price (because people cannot afford to monetize the nominal losses), just to a spiralling fall in liquidity.

    You have the whole “housing benefit” issue which, for a large range of properties, establishes a weak floor for the rent. In that there needs to be a good reason why you must rent for less than the HB level and clear quality differentiators to be able to rent for significantly more.

  6. The demonisation of all landlords makes it more difficult for good landlords while having little effect on the bad.
    The BTL landlord whom I know best has been invited to the weddings of two former tenants (in one case the father of said ex-tenant paid her airfare to Central Asia and hotel bill), presumably due to her maternal attitude to her tenants.

  7. Landlords don’t “supply” land. They capture the existing supply.

    Which is entirely correct.

    But, as you were the first to mention “land”, as opposed to “properties” in the original article, and “homes” or “housing” since, entirely misdirected at this thread.

  8. What restricts supply is when people with perfectly decent villas in Tuscany to inhabit insist of occupying property in London too.

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