Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fixing immigration policy to help fix housing problem

From Richard LeFrak's op-ed in the Wall Street Journal:

As consumers retrench, production is cut, payrolls are slashed, and consumer confidence, incomes and spending are savaged in a self-feeding downward economic spiral. But if the government buys surplus houses and sells them at low market-clearing prices, other house prices will drop, destroying more home equity and driving many more mortgages under water. Bulldozing excess houses would be an inefficient end for perfectly habitable structures.

A better idea is to offer permanent residence status to the many foreigners who are clamoring to get into the U.S. -- if they buy houses of minimal values (not shacks). They wouldn't need to live in those houses, but in order to remove the unit from the total housing market, they couldn't rent them. Their temporary resident status granted upon purchase would become permanent after, perhaps, five years, if they still owned the houses and maintained clean records. The mere announcement of this program might well stop the ongoing collapse in house prices, especially in cities such as Las Vegas, Miami, Phoenix and San Francisco, where prices are down 40% -- but where many foreigners like to live.

Each year, 85,000 H-1B visas are granted for foreigners with advanced skills and education, and last year, 163,000 petitions were filed in the first five days after applications were accepted. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation estimates that as of Sept. 30, 2006, 500,040 residents of the U.S. and 59,915 individuals living abroad were waiting for employment-based visas. Many would buy homes if their immigration conditions were settled.

15 comments:

Lino said...

Mr LeFrak takes the typical businessman's approach w/out regard for the social consequences. That's not unusual for landlords who have no problem throwing people in the street.

Contrary to Mr LeFrak's concerns, what we have is simply the housing market recovering from a period of bizarre speculation brought on by banks that made their money not by servicing the loans but by selling them in volume to investors.

Approx two weeks ago one of the network news shows featured a story on how the falling home prices and foreclosures were permitting people who had been priced out, to now find a place of their own.

They profiled several cases, the first was a group of three single girls who were able to pool their resources and easily afford a bank-owned property.

Another was of a young black woman, single with a child who bought a house at auction for some low price and had -no- mortgage to pay off. She pointed out that she could now save for her son's education.

I am sure there are and will be many more such cases such as these. So ignore the self-serving braying of the LeFraks of the world. They are only interested in a buck and don't give a s..t about the public.

Missing Foundation said...

You intellectuals are always so ready to dismiss a businessman.

Big mistake. Everything they say almost always has a hard edged dose of reality.

They profit from the things you choose to ignore.

Unlike residential, commercial real estate is yet to fall apart.

There is a big fear that will happen.

We know that in Queens, it’s far more profitable to rent the same space to four transients at $750 each than one long term resident at $1500.

Its the main reason that rent is so high.

Now if you could fill up these buildings with immigrants, it would solve two big problems.

Governments the world over are scared shitless that the local middle class will revolt. Credit is drying up, commodities demand that support local economies is dropping, and remittances from home are falling off.

Send 'em to America, especially, to Queens! You can close hospitals, chronically under staff schools, inflict all sorts of ills and the folks will love it.

Or at least not say much.

On the other side of the coin, you can fill all those units just coming on line. THOUSANDS of studio units with happy families all excited by their new opportunity!

I can just FEEL at least three urban think tanks just gearing up for a 'study' about this, doesn’t you?

Anonymous said...

The B1 workers are all being let go . They are bright, highly educated folks who specialize in tech and finance. They are ideal and legal with B1 papers and would willingly stay here permanently - not a bad idea just too late and bad timing to make this work.

Anonymous said...

Mellon said, "Liquidate capital, liquidate labor...

Maybe it's not just the workers who need to get it in the neck this time, but the big-wigs. Why is my miserable hovel of a tenement apartment a prize beyond compare to my greedy landlord?

It is the out-of-whack value of capital in the form of buildings. Let the big cheeses suffer too, and maybe the rest of us can afford to buy a small place.

Anonymous said...

A scum bun developer/landlord like Lefrak (f--k that high tone Le Frak crap) will do anything to fill his vacant rat traps with warm bodies even if
the rent gets reduced to 60 cents on the dollar!

Bloodsucking vampires like this SOB are responsible for the ruination of this city.

Anonymous said...

Le Frak is just a slumlord putting on airs!

And how much money does Melinda Katz get from these sons of Sam?

Anonymous said...

Of course Crapper hides the fact that Gary Schilling, one of the nation's most respected economists and housing experts who predicted the real estate crash years ago, co-wrote the article. Another example why Crapper is a joke.
It actually is a great idea.
Stop hating on others to try to blame them for your failures.

Anonymous said...

Of course Crapper hides the fact that Gary Schilling, one of the nation's most respected economists and housing experts who predicted the real estate crash years ago, co-wrote the article.

YEA A LOT OF 'EXPERTS' HAVE BEEN WRONG RECENTLY.

Wade Nichols said...

Of course Crapper hides the fact that Gary Schilling, one of the nation's most respected economists and housing experts who predicted the real estate crash years ago, co-wrote the article.

Even a stopped watch is correct 2 times a day. So what that your supposed "expert" Gary Schilling predicted the real estate crash? Alan Greenspan spent a lot of time in the "academy", and was the head of the Federal Reserve. We all know how that turned out, now don't we?

There's a lot of financial "experts" who told us: Over the long term, the stock market goes up - just buy and hold, and you'll be OK. How's your portfolio doing lately, punk?

It actually is a great idea.

If it's such a great idea, why stop with just the 30 million illegal aliens we have now? Why not let in 100 million Chinese and 100 million Indians? If 30 million is a great idea, then 200 million additional people living in the U.S. would be even better, right? Our economy will sky rocket, right?

Stop hating on others to try to blame them for your failures.

Stop hating on those who don't agree with your juvenille view of the world, junior!

Queens Crapper said...

First of all, I didn't make any comment on this article or pass judgment on the content, I simply posted an excerpt of it. So I don't know where you are getting the "hating" from. And I mentioned LeFrak's name because he is the name people from Queens will recognize.

Rock Wangslot said...

You intellectuals are always so ready to dismiss a businessman.
...
They profit from the things you choose to ignore.


Like that "businessman" who was short-selling NYC municipal bonds. Yeah, he was a true hard-edged, farsighted realist, wasn't he?

Look, just because Lino suggests a good idea that doesn't jive with the "businessman" approach you prefer, that doesn't mean you need to bash him with horrid labels such as "intellectual". Yeesh!

Miles Mullin said...

The B1 workers are all being let go . They are bright, highly educated folks who specialize in tech and finance. They are ideal and legal with B1 papers and would willingly stay here permanently - not a bad idea just too late and bad timing to make this work.
------
Yes, tell that to the highly educated unemployed Americans, who for the first time in their lives, are feeling useless because they cannot find the employment they deserve.

Anonymous said...

Yes, tell that to the highly educated unemployed Americans, who for the first time in their lives, are feeling useless because they cannot find the employment they deserve.

This was in the paper just a few days ago.
Unemployment is around 9 percent nationally for those with less than a high school education, and only 3 percent for those with more than a college degree. So much for all the "highly educated unemployed Americans."

Anonymous said...

I guess New Yorkers aren't considered to be American because there are an awful lot of Ivy League trained Wall Streeters without jobs right now.

Wade Nichols said...

This was in the paper just a few days ago.

I read that also. I can't remember, was it in Pravda, or was it Big Brother Daily?? No, I think it was The Tweeder Gazette.