Jeremiah Moss, a New York blogger, just wrote a long article complaining about the bad habits of his new neighbors in the East Village. I suspect many, if not most readers, of his article would think: maybe we need to zone out new housing to keep out the yuppies!
But it seems to me that this conclusion would be wrong. Here’s why: new buildings in the East Village are generally more expensive than old buildings.* So I suspect that if yuppies are moving into old buildings like Moss’s, it is probably because they cannot afford newer buildings, or more affluent neighborhoods like Tribeca. It logically follows that if more new buildings were allowed in Moss’s neighborhood, he would have less affluent neighbors, which presumably would make him happier.
*I searched listings at streeteasy.com, and found that of about 170 pre-war one-bedrooms, 77 of them (or 45 percent) rented for less than $3000 per month. By contrast, of the 32 postwar one-bedrooms in the East Village, only 3 rent for under $3000.