How To Prepare For Short-Term Renters Next Door
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How To Prepare For Short-Term Renters Next Door

How to deal with the ever-rotating cast of characters that occupy your neighbour’s holiday rental.

By Kris Frieswick
Mon, Jun 7, 2021 1:56pmGrey Clock 3 min

My neighbour Bill just told us he is going to rent out his home on a short-term-rental site. Our neighbourhood has always been quiet and peaceful and filled with year-round, full-time residents, so this is new and sort of scary to all of us. How concerned should we be?

Signed, Bill’s Neighbour (a fictitious human)

Dear Bill’s Neighbour:

It was nice of Bill to mention that he was going to be renting the house. I note, however, that you did not say he asked if you would mind, so we have to assume he doesn’t care. Is Bill a little bit of a jerk? A “shovels his driveway but not the old lady across the street” kind of a guy? It doesn’t matter because Bill is now dead to us. You and your neighbours have to worry about yourselves.

The amount of concern you should have about the new, rotating cast of renters next door ranges from “none at all” to “Why is there a car in our pool?” To assist you and your community in dealing with this uninvited incursion by unknown vacationing-type people and other itinerants into your peaceful neighbourhood, here are the various types of short-term renters, and a colour-coded threat level and action plan for each.

Renter type: Invisible

Identified by: Nothing. You literally won’t know they’re there. They are quieter than the neighbours who own the house. This type of renter most likely represents the vast majority of short-term renters; people who just want a quiet family vacation somewhere cool in a nice house. Maybe some porch beers. Wave if you see them, which you won’t.

Threat level: Cellophane. A complete absence of threat. You don’t need to do anything unless you want to, which you won’t.

Renter type: Cool New Friends

Identified by: Musical selections—be it Lizzo, Kenny Chesney or The Carpenters—that coincidentally match yours and are played at socially appropriate hours and decibel levels. They beckon you to come over for drinks when they see you because they want to learn more about your interesting home town. You dig them. You swap emails and make plans to connect when you’re in their home town.

Threat level: Pink… for—LOVE them!!

Renter type: Gang of Inconsiderate Clods

Identified by: Large groups who you can hear talking even when inside your own house because they are always talking at the top of their lungs, though standing mere feet apart. Their cars fill your neighbour’s driveway, part of the street, and will, at some point, block you from leaving your driveway. They give you stink eye when approached about moving the cars. Their music and parties are not quite loud enough and not quite late enough to force you to call the cops, but you’re always a few seconds away from dialing those three magic numbers.

Threat level: Chartreuse. Ignore them to the extent possible. They will be gone in a week.

Renter type: Only People on the Planet

Identified by: Late night parties with music that appears to be entirely bass, screaming fights on the front yard, toddlers meandering aimlessly and unchaperoned on the street, animals of all sorts running off leash, at least three appearances by the cops. Hammering on your front door at 3 a.m. by confused/lost renters demanding to be let in or else they’ll “kick in your teeth.” These renters have zero respect for, indeed seem unaware of, the fact that they are not the only people on Earth.

Threat level: Red mist. Before you wake up in the backyard of Bill’s house with a gas can and a lighter, with no idea how you got there, have a heart to heart with him. Tell him his renters are not only destroying the fabric of the community and violating the town noise ordinances, but they are trying to saw up his wooden patio furniture for the fire pit, have dumped a bunch of green Jello powder into his pool, and are turning his garage door into a mural of some sort. Don’t feel bad about lying. It’s the least of the sins currently occurring on or near your property.

Renter type: Rave Advertised on TikTok

Identified by: Thousands and thousands of people. Unconscious or tweaking partiers everywhere, including your bathtub. (Does it matter at this point how they got there?) SWAT team response with National Guard unit on standby.

Threat level: For Sale. Move out as soon as you can. Then list with a local real-estate agent who is a good liar (redundancy alert), or find out which short-term-rental site Bill is using.

Reprinted by permission of The Wall Street Journal, Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication: June 3, 2021



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Home prices declined at a faster pace in May in major cities, while other data show a mixed picture for the world’s second-largest economy

By REBECCA FENG
Tue, Jun 18, 2024 3 min

China’s broken housing market isn’t responding to some of the country’s boldest stimulus measures to date—at least not yet.

The Chinese government has been stepping up support for housing and other industries in recent months as it tries to revitalize an economy that has  continued to disappoint  since the early days of the pandemic.

But fresh data for May showed that businesses and consumers remain cautious. Home prices continue to fall at an accelerating rate, and fixed-asset investment and industrial production, while growing, lost some momentum.

“China’s May economic data suggest that policymakers have a lot to do to sustain the fragile recovery,” Yao Wei, chief China economist at Société Générale, wrote in a client note on Monday.

The worst pain is in the property sector, which has been struggling to deal with oversupply and weak buyer sentiment since 2021, when a multiyear  housing boom ended . The market still doesn’t appear to have found a floor, even after Beijing rolled out its most aggressive stimulus measures so far  in mid-May  in hopes of restoring confidence.

In major cities, new-home prices fell 4.3% in May compared with a year earlier, worse than a   3.5% decline in April, according to data released Monday by China’s National Bureau of Statistics. Prices in China’s secondhand home market tumbled 7.5%, compared with a 6.8% drop in April.

Home sales by value tumbled 30.5% in the first five months of this year compared with the same months last year.

“This data was certainly on the disappointing side and may ring some alarm bells, as May’s policy support package has not yet translated to a slower decline of housing prices, let alone a stabilisation,” said Lynn Song, chief China economist at ING.

Economists had also been hoping to see a wider recovery this month after Beijing started  rolling out  a planned issuance of 1 trillion yuan, the equivalent of $138 billion, in ultra-long sovereign bonds in May. The funds are designed to help pay for infrastructure and property projects backed by the authorities. Investors  gobbled up  the first batch of these bonds.

Monday’s bundle of economic data, however, underlined how the country still isn’t firing on all cylinders.

Retail sales, a key metric of consumer spending, rose 3.7% in May from a year earlier, compared with 2.3% in April, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. While the trend is heading in the right direction, it is still a relatively subdued level of growth, and below what most economists believe is needed to kick-start a major revival in consumer spending.

The expansion in industrial production—5.6% in May compared with a year earlier—was down from April’s 6.7% increase. Fixed-asset investment growth, of which 40% came from property and infrastructure sectors, also decelerated, to 3.5% year-over-year growth in May from 3.6% in April.

Key to the sluggish economic activity data in May—and China’s outlook going forward—is the crisis in the property market, which has proven hard for policymakers to address.

The property rescue package in May included letting local governments buy up unsold homes, removing minimum interest rates on mortgages, and reducing payments for potential home buyers. It also included as its centerpiece a $41 billion so-called re-lending program launched by the People’s Bank of China, which would provide funding to Chinese banks to support home purchases by state-owned firms.

The hope was that by stepping in as a buyer of last resort for millions of properties, the government would manage to mop up unsold housing inventory and persuade wary home buyers to re-enter the market. In turn, Chinese consumers, who have  most of their wealth  tied up in real estate, would feel more confident about spending again, thereby lifting the overall economy.

But the size of the re-lending program wasn’t big enough to convince home buyers, said Larry Hu , chief China economist at Macquarie Group. “Meanwhile, their income outlook also stays weak given the current economic condition,” he said.

For the property market to bottom out and reach a new equilibrium, mortgage rates, which stand at around 3-4% in China, need to be as low as rental yields, which are currently below 2% in major cities, said Zhaopeng Xing, a senior China strategist at ANZ. He said that a large mortgage rate cut will need to happen eventually.

The other key part of China’s push to revive growth revolves around the manufacturing sector, with leaders  funnelling more investment  into factories to boost output and reduce the country’s reliance on foreign suppliers of key technologies.

The result has been a surge in production. But with domestic consumption not strong enough to absorb all those goods, many factories have been forced to cut prices and seek out more overseas buyers.

Data released earlier this month showed that  Chinese exports rose  faster in May than the month before.

However, the export push is  butting into resistance  as governments around the world worry about the impact of cheap Chinese competition on domestic jobs and industries. The European Union last week said it would  impose new import tariffs  on Chinese electric vehicles, describing China’s auto industry as heavily subsidised by the government, to the point where other countries’ automakers can’t fairly compete.

The U.S.  has also hit  Chinese cars and some other products with hefty duties, while countries including Brazil, India and Turkey have opened antidumping investigations into Chinese steel, chemicals and other goods.

Beijing says such moves are protectionist and that its industries compete fairly with global rivals.