Monday, March 15, 2010

House may try to pass Senate health-care bill without voting on it

House may try to pass Senate health-care bill without voting on it: "After laying the groundwork for a decisive vote this week on the Senate's health-care bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Monday that she might instead attempt to pass the measure without having members vote on it.

Instead, Pelosi (D-Calif.) would rely on a procedural sleight of hand: The House would instead vote on a more popular measure that presumes the health-care bill has passed the chamber."

Why? Because there might be somebody someplace who still believes that the United States Congress is one of the world's greatest legislative bodies, and it is important to crush that person's faith like a paper cup.


Anonymous said...

Queue the comments comparing Pelosi to an HOA board member...

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the kind of sleight of hand used to claim that people entered into a "contract" defined by CCRs when they purchased a lot.

Or further removed from reality, that people actually contracted for such terms by purchasing the lot.

Or even further removed from reality, that people illustrate the desirability of deed restrictions by contracting for deed-restricted property.

Numerosity≠popularity regardless of whether the subject matter is epidemics, cockroaches, or HOAs.

Anonymous said...

We don't need no steenkeen vote

Anonymous said...

> Sounds like the kind of sleight of hand...

And as embarrassed as I am to admit that I'm a small "l" libertarian, libertarians eat that stuff up. And then ask for more.

I just got home from my local Democrat Party caucus. While discussing HOAs with another Democrat, he told me "HOAs are great. They protect property values by preventing your neighbor from changing his car's oil in his driveway." When I tried to convince him of the error of his ways, he remained quite insistent that HOAs protect home values.

I'm sure his sources have a hockey-stick graph to prove it, too.

On a serious note, does anybody here have any quantitative data on how HOAs affect property values, one way or the other?

Anonymous said...

The sport of kings.

Anonymous said...

Why is "property value" the only metric ever examined? Paying higher property taxes is not a homeowner's primary objective.

How about the loss of use and enjoyment of the property, the risk that the HOA corporation represents to your home and you personally, or the inclusion of carrying costs of the property?

Anonymous said...

> Why is "property value" the only metric ever examined?

I don't think it's "examined" so much as a mindlessly repeated mantra.

To answer my earlier question: As far as I know, only one person has ever done a quantitative study of HOAs and property values. Any others?

When evaluating any claim, even one that supports your position, please keep in mind that correlation does not necessarily equal causation.

Homeowner Association Foreclosures and Property Values in Harris County, 1985–2001

Christopher Adolph
Harvard University
October 21, 2002


In recent years, homeowner associations (HOAs) in Harris County, Texas have filed thousands of lawsuits threatening foreclosure against residents who owed dues, late fees, or fines. An event count analysis of HOA foreclosures by neighborhood from 1985–2001 shows the bulk of these filings occur in neighborhoods with low median home values. Overall, homeowners in the bottom quartile of home value face more than ten times the risk of HOA foreclosure proceedings as those in the top quartile. Legal changes in 1987 and 1995 also seem to have encouraged HOAs to bring more foreclosures to court: across the spectrum of home values, the annual pace of filing after 1995 is roughly double the previous decade’s rate. Although HOA foreclosures are ostensibly motivated by efforts to improve property values, neither foreclosure activity nor HOAs appear linked with above average home price growth.

. . . snip . . .

6 Conclusions

The findings presented here should help ordinary homeowners and housing scholars better understand the risks and rewards involved in belonging to homeowner associations. Harris County HOA fore- closure rates have risen dramatically in the wake of Inwood and the passage of Chapter 204. For the average homeowner, the annual risk of HOA foreclosure from 1995-2001 was almost double that of the previous decade. This increase in foreclosure threat does not seem to be balanced by higher property value growth; if anything, property values grew more slowly in HOAs that filed foreclosures than in other neighborhoods. Finally, less expensive neighborhoods had vastly higher foreclosure rates than more expensive subdivisions, suggesting that poorer homeowners bear the brunt of foreclosures. Understanding why should be a key question in future research.

Beth said...

There was a study published in a magazine (can't remember the name of it right now) that looked at hoas in . . . Maryland? Virginia? and concluded that hoas did raise property values. However, that study compared hoas that were not mandatory membership, but that were a bunch of homes paying for extra amenities like a community pool or tennis courts. If you belonged to the organization that gave you pool access, your property was worth a few thousand more. I remember this story because CAI was bragging about it, as though it had anything to do with mandatory membership hoas that dictate the color of your mailbox. If I remember, the biblio info, I'll try to post it here somewhere.

Anonymous said...


Is this the report you're thinking of?

What Are Private Governments Worth?
Amanda Agan and Alexander Tabarrok
George Mason University
"Regulation" Fall 2005


These organizations were practically unheard of in 1960, but today some 54.6 million people in the United States live in various neighborhood associations. That figure continues to rise each year because a majority of new housing units in rapidly growing urban areas are privately governed. Local private governments are also becoming common in Britain, Spain, Brazil, and even in several former and current communist nations, including Russia and China.

Homeowners associations (HOAs) would seem to have passed the market test,


We find, for example, that houses in hoas are 6.1 percent more valuable than similar houses located outside of hoas.


Examining the other coefficients, we can express the value of an HOA in another way. Holding all else equal, we estimate that consumers value a three-bedroom home in an HOA about as much as a four-bedroom home without an HOA. We suspect that most people consider this a significant increase in value, which helps to explain why HOAs have become so popular.


It is also worth noting that we find that HOAs increase value by at least 5–6 percent. Competition tends to push prices down to marginal costs, so as the privatization of local government continues, the estimated price-premium may fall even as consumer benefits from HOAs increase.


Anonymous said...

Robert Metcalf, a board member of his HOA, wrote a "Position Statement on Common Interest Developments" (20 page PDF, available here).

In addition to the two studies cited above, he also found:

The Cost Of Conformity by Dr. Jeremy Groves from Northern Illinois University, This is a study of approximately 125,000 home sales in the Saint Louis metropolitan area. This is a large sample. Dr. Groves conclusion is, and I quote:

“... locating in an RCA decreases the value of a home between 0.04% and 1.70%. While these coefficient estimates are statistically significant, the average effect is not economically significant.”