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April 9, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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Rent vs. own: a comparison

Density keeps prices low

As the anti-homeownership “crank” in my own circle of friends, I appreciated The Times’ clear-eyed comparison of the ups and downs of renting and owning. [“Rent vs. own,” Real Estate, April 8.].

But its second sentence, “With new apartment construction going up, there are signs that rent prices could rise,” reinforces a dumb, ugly myth: that density and redevelopment drive rents up.

Yes, apartment construction is a symptom of a rental market that has already become overpriced — but it’s also a welcome cure for the same disease, since the new supply of places to live will keep prices lower than they otherwise would become.

Dense new developments help people live affordably where they want to. We should all celebrate that.

— Michael Andersen, Portland


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