Letter: Left and right can spread the wealth
Left and right can spread the wealth
In the Aspen real estate market, I see common ground between the two political sides in Aspen. I think it is pretty simple: Restricted growth limits the supply of real estate, while limited supply combined with stable demand results in higher real estate values.
There are dozens of resorts like Vail built since the ‘60s with only one goal in mind: to bring in tourists and make money. Aspen is a rare breed that puts community first, and in my view that has made us even more desirable to visitors. Restricting supply while increasing demand leads to even greater jumps in real estate value.
Using potential development land or area for affordable housing, instead of free-market housing, further reduces the potential supply of the free market and provides another boost in values. Presumably the right is reasonably happy with escalating values and perfectly happy with those reaping the benefit of those higher values.
We’re in a pretty good place, but how can we make it better? I say, find a way to spread the enormous real estate values to those who cannot afford the free market — yet. We cannot allow the affordable market to appreciate in value so as to render it unaffordable; it is critical the entry level remain vibrant and accessible, but I think we should be seeking ways to spread the opportunity, diversity and prosperity of the free market to the affordable market.
Expand the affordable-housing inventory and find ways for locals in affordable housing to move up the real estate/economic ladder, if they choose. If you are a righty, love it because it yields less competition and increases demand. If you are a lefty, love it because it spreads the wealth.
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