File this under lessons never learned: Voters in St. Paul, Minn., last week approved a ballot initiative, 53% to 47%, to impose strict rent control. The cap on increases will be 3% a year, “regardless of change of occupancy,” and with no exceptions for new construction or mom-and-pop landlords.
What happened next should be no mystery. One developer has “already pulled applications for three buildings,” a representative told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Another “lost a major investor” in “an apartment building he’s trying to get off the ground.” Who could have foreseen it, other than basically every economist with a pulse?