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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)