Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Problem of Specultors

One common thread through many of the people who have come in to talk to us is that they have all talked about speculators. Also, pretty much all of them spoke negatively about them. It seems that the idea of real estate speculation become an especially hot issue in neighborhoods that are begining to re-develop like Station North. I've thought a lot about the idea of speculation over the past week and I've mostly come up with questions. Here are a few.

Why do people do this? Other than the obvious reason of sitting on the property with hopes of eventually making money. Are there more complex reasons that we are missing?

What is already being done to stop speculators, We've heard about code enforcement and the city taking over properties, but what else is there and are these the most effective things that can be done?

What should be done. How can the people in a neighborhood stop this from happening? How can the city stop it short of taking people's property away (because no one likes eminent domain)

What conditions lead to an area becoming ripe for speculators? How can these things be combated?

These are not questions I have any sort of answer to, I'd love to hear what everyone thinks about this.

So many relationships in cities seem to be symbiotic, but the relationship of the speculator to the city seems to be inherently parasitic. They contribute nothing to the city (except property taxes) and get rich when property values do go up. I'm totally over simplifying the whole situation, but since it is something that so many people have mentioned, perhaps we should look into it as a class?

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