Space Bubble Real Estate

Lots of people want to buy property in outer-space, argues blogger Glenn Reynolds. He points to customers of Lunar Embassy who pay $16 or $20 for novelty acres on the moon.

But to go from gimmicky certificates to serious lunar (and Martian) real estate development takes a serious economic incentive — like the concept of “land claims recognition legislation,” as an article in the SMU Journal of Air Law and Commerce argues.

This would allow privately funded space settlements to sell deeds to real estate on the moon and Mars without violating international laws, a longstanding concern.

In the midst of a continuing housing meltdown on Earth, a lunar real estate boom might be the perfect space program stimulus. Here’s what Reynolds writes:

Property rights attract private capital and, with government space programs stagnating, a lunar land rush may be just what we need to get things going again. I’ll take a nice parcel near one of the lunar poles, please, with a peak high enough to get year-round sunlight and some crater bottoms deep enough to hold ice.

There’s also this encouraging news: the Justice Department has forced the National Association of Realtors to open up its Multiple Listing Services to all brokers, discount and otherwise.

Which means that information asymmetry has taken a hit in the real-estate industry here on Earth and — on the moon — may be as rare a thing as gravity.

(Hat tip: Slashdot, Dave Wasser)


"One could also say what European had the right to sell land on the American Continents."

That's a valid point, and perhaps foreshadows that someone will indeed sell that land. We in America would probably like to believe that it's ours to sell. But how would we react to a press release that Kim Jong has sold 95% of the land on the moon? We obviously wouldn't honor that transaction, but do we have more right to it than any other government or corporation?

I say if someone wants to own that land, they need to get up there and build on it.


One could also say what European had the right to sell land on the American Continents.


I'm with Adam- the impetus to privatize space is simply capitalist propaganda with no ethical underpinnings- same thing with business claims of 'owning' genes, seed lines, airwaves, energy, etc.- that's why we laugh at the Lunar Embassy scam- we recognize that private ownership of public resources is ethically absurd


What man on earth has the right to sell property on another planet?


This is really sad. Since when is it the government's responsibility to rewrite a private association's membership policies to spur competition? The NAR should be able to exclude online brokers if they want. The online brokers can get together a start their own MLS if they want which excludes brick and mortar brokers.


And here I'd thought property ownership on the Moon was not permitted by the Outer Space Treaty ( Was this treaty revoked or obviated? If so, what happened and when?

Other Dustin

It's not sad about the MLS being more open. I'm glad their loosening the choke-hold that NAR has had on the Real Estate Market. Realtors have been predatory competitors in this market for a long time now, something needed to be done.


What has happened to my blog. It have just sent it and was informed that it would be posted after being moderated.I certainly did not put anything abusive there but a very important message many readers would benefit from. Will you please post it? Thank you.
Bozena Sawa


Nowhere in the treaty is private ownership specifically prohibited. Article VI says "The activities of non-governmental entities in outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, shall require authorization and continuing supervision by the appropriate State Party to the Treaty.".

So, so long as a country supervises and authorizes the private ownership, that would be within the bounds of the treaty.

@frankenduf - No, we laugh at the lunar Embassy scam because it has not set up settlement or activity on the moon that would enable it to have a legitimate ownership of the land. Formerly public resources are sold to private companies and individuals all the time.


This lunar scham is laughable and surely only someone who believes that the Earth is flat to fall for it.
However, it is damaging to millions because it turns the world's attention from what really matters and that's a tremendous harm done by real estate professionals jointly with bankers and developers ON THIS PLANET !!!
While thousands of new people get thrown out of ther foreclosed homes daily and land on the street, an army of realtors,mortgage brokers, appraisers, lenders and developers keep laughing all ther way to the bank. The lunatics described above are surely among them.They must have done a lot of harm on Earth before they started selling the Moon.
Victims of foreclosures have been waiting in vain for a newspaper of the New York Times prestige to seriously take up the subject of foreclosures. By "seriously" I mean: starting a campaign, in a series of articles which would surely result with the government offering $ 30 billion for a change where it belongs: to foreclosure victims, by exposing perpetrators I mantioned above and , of course by making them accountable.
I live in Miami where I recently started a campaign : 'Rescue Florida Foreclosure Victims'.
I am asking everybody who is reading this to visit my website and blog and help. But first of all I am asking the New York Times managers to give my post a CHANCE.