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Wed Jun 27, 2018, 01:04 AM

 

Many countries prohibit or limit the sale of real property, that is land and housing,

to non-citizens.

Do you think we should do that in the US?

I'm torn on this. Seems to me a person should live in the US and become a citizen before being able to buy a house or a building or land, especially since people from overseas come here and push the prices up so that Americans who need to live and work here cannot buy homes or condos (I'm in California), but then restricting the purchase of land is not the American tradition.

What do you think?

What are the arguments pro and con?

27 replies, 1442 views

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Reply Many countries prohibit or limit the sale of real property, that is land and housing, (Original post)
Sophia4 Jun 2018 OP
marybourg Jun 2018 #1
pnwmom Jun 2018 #3
marybourg Jun 2018 #9
pnwmom Jun 2018 #10
EllieBC Jun 2018 #21
Sophia4 Jun 2018 #11
marybourg Jun 2018 #22
Sophia4 Jun 2018 #24
marybourg Jun 2018 #26
Sophia4 Jun 2018 #27
JI7 Jun 2018 #2
pnwmom Jun 2018 #5
JI7 Jun 2018 #6
pnwmom Jun 2018 #7
JI7 Jun 2018 #8
Sophia4 Jun 2018 #14
Sophia4 Jun 2018 #12
JI7 Jun 2018 #13
Sophia4 Jun 2018 #17
pnwmom Jun 2018 #4
NCTraveler Jun 2018 #15
BannonsLiver Jun 2018 #18
NCTraveler Jun 2018 #19
BannonsLiver Jun 2018 #20
haele Jun 2018 #23
NCTraveler Jun 2018 #25
Amishman Jun 2018 #16

Response to Sophia4 (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2018, 02:01 AM

1. This is called "nativism".

Blaming the outsider for real or perceived problems, e.g. “they” drive up housing prices. It doesn’t work. Our open system has worked all these years. Everybody benefits from a healthy economy, and the aspirations of immigrants helps keep our economy healthy. None of the countries that squelch immigrants have an economy as healthy as ours. Democrats support immigration.

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Response to marybourg (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 27, 2018, 03:14 AM

3. The issue isn't with immigrants. It's with absentee landlords in China, Russia, and other places

outside the US.

Seattle has a high number of them and many were all-cash sales and are sitting empty. I don't see how that's good for the economy.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 27, 2018, 09:03 AM

9. Are they "landlords"?

Or are the places "sitting empty"? Can't be both. If the latter, potential boltholes. Saw the same before Hong Kong went back to China. Eventually properties returned to the economy.

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Response to marybourg (Reply #9)

Wed Jun 27, 2018, 11:23 AM

10. Could be both -- some houses being one, some another. And Seattle doesn't have

time to wait for "eventually" the houses to be returned to the economy. There's a terrible homeless problem. If they had a tax on these investment properties of non-residents, it ould be used to help fix the problem of residents without places to live.

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Response to marybourg (Reply #9)

Wed Jun 27, 2018, 12:31 PM

21. In BC it's mostly homes sitting empty.

There was a huge money laundering scam uncovered that involved drugs, China, casinos, and real estate here.

There's now a 15% foreign buyer tax in Vancouver that's slowed the foreign purchases of land and homes somewhat.

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Response to marybourg (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 27, 2018, 11:53 AM

11. You are assuming that those buying are "immigrants."

 

What if they are just investors?

What if they are seeking dual citizenship?

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Response to Sophia4 (Reply #11)

Wed Jun 27, 2018, 12:37 PM

22. So?

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Response to marybourg (Reply #22)

Wed Jun 27, 2018, 12:49 PM

24. Homes are places where people live.

 

For investors to buy homes and push up prices so that ordinary people cannot buy and own their homes is a very great problem to our society.

It is important that as many people as possible in our society own their homes before they retire. Here in Los Angeles, that has become nearly impossible for most people. And that is going to come back and hurt a lot of people, not just the landlords. When the majority of Americans no longer own anything of value, we will have a huge problem.

And in part thanks to "investors" buying land and housing, we are moving closer to that problem. When the majority no longer own much of any value, then they no longer have an interest in protecting the interests, the property interests, of those who do own something. That will drastically change our system any place, any time that it happens.

Our system is based on the assumption of the Founding Fathers that property ownership is important. As long as only a minority is landless and propertyless, the laws that protect property owners are intact and safe. But what happens when a majority of the people no longer owns property they value? What happens when the property owners or many of them, are absentee landlords, perceived as "foreigners"?

I don't know, but that would be quite a change.

My ancestors crossed the prairies to claim land way back in the early centuries of this country. They never became rich, but owning land was very important to them. Not being able to own land in the early days of our country has been a huge, perhaps insurmountable, hurdle for African-Americans.

On the other side, we have never limited land ownership to citizens, and it seems like a rather unAmerican thing to do. My ancestors did not live in the United States when they first owned land here because the United States did not exist.

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Response to Sophia4 (Reply #24)

Wed Jun 27, 2018, 01:17 PM

26. If it's an investment, the investor will at some point

want to profit from his investment by either putting a tenant in place, or selling. If they don't eventually do that, then it's a second home or a bolthole. While neither may be in the best interest of the neighbors, it's not in the interest of society in general to so limit the freedom of individuals that they can't own a temporarily vacant property. Matters of taxes and upkeep are generally covered by existing laws.
Edited to add: many Americans own homes in other countries for the same reasons. If things continue as they arr going, many of us will want boltholes somewhere. 😥

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Response to marybourg (Reply #26)

Wed Jun 27, 2018, 01:41 PM

27. That is why I am asking the question.

 

I see two sides to this issue.

Thanks.

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Response to Sophia4 (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2018, 02:04 AM

2. fuck no, it would be targeted towards minorities . already black people and other long time

american minorities have a history of land being taken away and being prevented from buying property .

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Response to JI7 (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 27, 2018, 03:18 AM

5. It would be targeted at wealthy non-residents who are investing in property,

paying all cash and letting it sit empty.

I think Seattle should at least consider the pros and cons, and consider putting the proceeds toward improving the growing homeless problem. (Cities with moderate climates like Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco are all bearing a disproportionate share of a national problem.)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/02/vancouver-real-estate-foreign-house-buyers-tax

Foreigners looking to purchase a home in Vancouver now face an additional tax of 15%, as Canadian authorities seek to temper a heated housing market that ranks as one of the world’s least affordable.

The tax, which came into effect on Tuesday, will be levied on all home buyers in metro Vancouver who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents. The measure will also apply to corporations that are not registered in Canada or which are controlled by foreigners.

Announcing the measure, the provincial government of British Columbia said the tax was intended to help cool the city’s red-hot property market, where demand from foreign investors – many of them from China – has helped ($1.2m) in June, a 39% jump from a year earlier.

“There is evidence now that suggests that very wealthy foreign buyers have raised the price, the overall price of housing for people in British Columbia,” Christy Clark, the province’s premier, told reporters recently.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #5)

Wed Jun 27, 2018, 03:20 AM

6. that's canada. the US has a history of discrimination when it comes to buying property and it will

most likely be targeted at minorites . either to prevent or make them pay more .

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Response to JI7 (Reply #6)

Wed Jun 27, 2018, 03:23 AM

7. I haven't looked at it carefully, but if they have a good model, that is targeted at non-residents

who are buying for investment purposes, than we should think about it.

And we should think about using the proceeds to solve a homeless problem that is turning into a crisis.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #7)

Wed Jun 27, 2018, 03:29 AM

8. i'm sure there are ways to deal with it but not by things like country

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #7)

Wed Jun 27, 2018, 11:59 AM

14. Using the revenue to help the homeless sounds like a good idea.

 

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Response to JI7 (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 27, 2018, 11:56 AM

12. But if they are American citizens, they would be allowed to buy land.

 

It might lower prices and make land more affordable for Black people who were born here.

I began to think about this when I read about the theory that Russians were buying properties in Trump's projects in order to have babies so that the babies would be born with American citizenship. I do not know whether that is true, but I began to wonder about how the prices of housing have risen so fast in Los Angeles and whether they would not rise so fast if only American citizens could buy and own property in the US.

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Response to Sophia4 (Reply #12)

Wed Jun 27, 2018, 11:58 AM

13. Black people are discriminated against. Those who can afford it still have harder

Time getting property in certain areas. Same goes for other minorities.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #13)

Wed Jun 27, 2018, 12:13 PM

17. In California?

 

I don't see that in my mixed neighborhood, but I wouldn't really know. Some years ago that was true. But not so much today. Prices are just astronomical for everyone in California, especially in urban areas. And a lot of it is due to "investors" and not just from overseas.

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Response to Sophia4 (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2018, 03:17 AM

4. Here's an article about what's happened in British Columbia. Now that they have the tax,

many of those investors are targeting the Seattle area instead, paying all-cash for investment houses that sit empty.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/02/vancouver-real-estate-foreign-house-buyers-tax

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #4)

Wed Jun 27, 2018, 12:04 PM

15. I would be willing to bet most of these homes are not sitting empty.

 

It makes no sense for an investor to simply buy a home and let it sit empty. Even if it is an "investor" washing money.

The tax in Vancouver is for empty homes. I see no problem with making that a part of our tax code. The impact will be minimal and the most egregious group leaving homes vacant would most likely be untouched, banks.

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #15)

Wed Jun 27, 2018, 12:22 PM

18. It's a thing in London, and elsewhere

LONDON — They are not hard to spot, if you know where to look, especially at night — the floors of swanky new apartments, most of the windows dark, almost all the time.

The zombie flats. Owned, but empty.

And on this cobbled mews in Chelsea? On that private walk in Kensington? No one home, either. There's enough empty property here to be given a name in the British news media: the "ghost mansions" of "lights-out London," the streets where it is alleged that seven in 10 addresses are second — or third or fourth — homes.

The blight of conspicuous empty homeownership is a big story in London — and around the globe.

But a solution is surprisingly elusive.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/london-struggles-with-ghost-mansions-and-zombie-flats-the-empty-units-in-city-bereft-of-affordable-housing/2017/09/18/253d67fa-97c4-11e7-af6a-6555caaeb8dc_story.html?utm_term=.9d1aa325df62

http://www.businessinsider.com/property-partner-20000-ghost-homes-sitting-empty-in-london-2017-4

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Response to BannonsLiver (Reply #18)

Wed Jun 27, 2018, 12:23 PM

19. They should regulate accordingly. nt

 

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #19)

Wed Jun 27, 2018, 12:25 PM

20. Agreed. It sounds like Khan is moving in that direction. It's a no brainer, tbh.

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #15)

Wed Jun 27, 2018, 12:39 PM

23. We have this issue in San Diego. Apartments in high rises sit empty.

Reasonably affordable family single resident houses bought with foreign (primarily Chinese and UAE) cash sit empty - or get converted to Air BNBs/vacation rentals under travel property management if they're in desirable "touristy" areas of town. Oh, the properties are maintained and sometimes renovated, but for the most part, no one is living permanently in them. Or if they are being rented out, the rents are for high end timeshares or vacation rentals, not for permanent local residents with jobs and families that might cause damage.

A local growing concern is that there have been a few houses in historic areas (tax exclusionary areas with low tax zoning for maintenance of historic neighborhoods) or older single family properties in good condition that were purchased by foreign holding companies and attempts made to demolish historic buildings to put up cheap modular mini-complexes - without consideration of the neighborhood infrastructure or ambiance - but with a keen eye on the low property taxes in those areas, despite the fact that by demolishing a historic property, they lose that tax exemption.

China is doing the same thing as Japan back in the 1980's to boost their internal economy - property is being flipped in those countries between holding companies and various investors like collectable cards so long as their markets can manage it. Which means few or no renters in the U.S. that might damage the property they're flipping between each other.

Chinese - and UAE property investors have no problems leaving large developments standing empty for a long time after being built. They didn't buy them to live in or for anyone else to live in, they bought them for "investment".

Haele

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Response to haele (Reply #23)

Wed Jun 27, 2018, 12:52 PM

25. There is a huge difference in "no one is living permanently in them"

 

and sitting vacant.

"Chinese - and UAE property investors have no problems leaving large developments standing empty for a long time after being built. They didn't buy them to live in or for anyone else to live in, they bought them for "investment". "

This goes against the concept of most investments and isn't how they do it most of the time. The times it is done like this it is normally because of extenuating circumstances.

Investors are normally not going to be scared of the limited liability that comes along with handing such ventures over to a management company. That is why it's so rare. Very limited work for the investor and they receive serious cash-flow.

"They didn't buy them to live in or for anyone else to live in, they bought them for "investment". "

As a property investor I can tell you that isn't the norm. Not even close.

That is normally for purposes of a sale. Properties sitting vacant for long periods of time does an investment not make. Normally when this is seen its for reasons of regulation, massive changes in the market while being built, or something similar.

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Response to Sophia4 (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2018, 12:08 PM

16. Kinda, make it non-residents and residential property only

That way foreign speculative investment stops distorting the housing market but immigrants are not discriminated against.

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