Megan McArdle recently summarized a number of pieces on the housing and politics on Bloomberg.com. Perhaps the most impressive quote she gleaned from her research was from Howard Husock who said:
“About a million rental units are covered by rent stabilization, which limits how sharply a landlord can increase rent each year, and another 38,000 or so by rent control, which dictates the rent itself. Federal housing vouchers pay the rent for 120,000 more units. The city’s vast public-housing system comprises 185,000 units (almost 18 percent of all the public housing in the country). All in all, some 1.3 million units — 61 percent of occupied New York rentals, or 42 percent of all New York homes — are price-regulated in one way or another, according to the New York City Rent Guidelines Board. In that respect, New York differs radically from most American cities.”
Given the artificial price controls, which restrict development and investment in the market, it’s no wonder New York has turned into one of the costliest housing markets in the nation.