Watts Happenings: News & Blog

IREM WATCH: Today's Shifting Regulatory Environment

Property owners are leaning heavily on their property managers to stay abreast of what’s next in the shifting regulatory market. And while recent and suggested actions from the Biden Administration have garnered some attention, according to Chip Watts, CPM, CCIM, the item looming largest is a familiar one.

Rent control “is probably the biggest thing we’re keeping an eye on,” says the immediate past president of IREM (Institute of Real Estate Management) and president of Watts Realty Co., Inc., AMO in Birmingham, Alabama. Spurred on in part by pandemic migration patterns, interest in these regulations has expanded beyond the usual suspects, and is now being discussed in states like Florida, where strong in-migration has spurred the municipalities of Orlando, Miami, Tampa and St. Petersburg to consider the measure.

But such regulations can have the opposite effect on housing affordability, notes Watts. “When you look at St. Paul, Minnesota, they continue to experience the negative ramifications of rent control after passing a ballot measure in 2021. Housing permits for new projects declined by 80% after that. So there’s data indicating rental control may be killing affordable housing, and we’re keeping a close eye on that.” 

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