The C Is for Crank

Seattle Times Overlooks a Key Factor in Ballard Rental Market—Renters

The Seattle Times opposes "overbuilding" in Ballard because, it argues, prices for tenants might drop, hurting landlords.

By Erica C. Barnett November 26, 2012


Urbanists tend to see in-city building booms as a positive thing: More supply lowers prices, and provides opportunities for people to live near their workplaces, rather than in sprawling suburbs. The Seattle Times, in contrast, looks at the apartment and condo boom in Ballard as a dark harbinger of "overbuilding"—the possibility that there may be more supply than demand, pushing prices down.

This, the Times reports, would be "a disaster ... for the landlords." A terrible outcome! In the Times's world, landlords should have total control over the market, and thus prices, and tenants should pay whatever that artificially price-inflated market supports. 

Works great, right? Except for, I dunno, tenants, who make up half of Seattle's population, and would benefit from lower prices. The Times, needless to say, didn't interview a single tenant advocate (or renter) for its sky-is-falling story.

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