Archive for the Property Category

A planning crisis

A planning crisis

Partly due to its success in attracting jobs and talent, demand for housing in London has outstripped supply and now home ownership is unaffordable for many households. In a well-functioning market, increases in house prices should incentivise large scale housing development. But this simply has not happened.

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How broken is our housing market?

How broken is our housing market?

Last month the government released its Housing White Paper ‘Fixing our Broken Housing Market’; the title is an ambitious promise. The industry response to the White Paper was fairly consistent: it was welcome movement in the right direction but it was too little too late. In short,

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Blame restrictions on the supply of land for new homes for rising wealth inequality

Blame restrictions on the supply of land for new homes for rising wealth inequality

Official data released last week on London house price increases in 2016 generated a lot of interest.  Given that housing represents by far the most important component of wealth for most people, it is not surprising that stories like this are read avidly. There is a feeling

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Look to Twitter for why Britain’s economy proved Project Fear wrong

Look to Twitter for why Britain's economy proved Project Fear wrong

The economic data on post-Brexit Britain is beginning to emerge.  We discovered last month that employment in May to July grew by 174,000 compared to the previous three months.  Last week, the Office for National Statistics published its estimate for the output of the service sector of

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Groucho Marx and Property Bubbles

The commercial property market in London has been booming for several years.  The Bank of England is concerned about yet another property bubble building up.  The executive director for financial stability, strategy and risk at the Bank, Alex Brazier, warned in a speech last month that positive

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How should London tackle its housing shortage?

The unrelenting climb in property prices and lack of affordability in the market has led to consensus amongst the public and policy makers that the UK is in the midst of a housing crisis. Average house price to median income ratio is a common measure of affordability

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The Subtle Costs of a Mansion Tax

An exciting email pinged into my inbox at the end of last week. It was a link to the contents of the latest issue of the American Economic Association’s journal ‘Economic Policy’. For most people these are not usually as gripping as, say, a Ken Follett novel.

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Why is inflation so low?

Zero inflation is trending. The consumer price index in the UK was at the same level in February as it was a year earlier. The reporting of this figure on the BBC website created some unintended amusement, however. The drop to zero, we were told, was “sharper

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Is Ed Miliband secretly a Rational Economic Person?

Recently, we have seen a very effective piece of forward guidance.  Ed Miliband’s statement that Labour would bring in a mansion tax on properties worth more than £2 million has had a dramatic impact.  The market for expensive properties in London has more or less ground to

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Forward guidance needed for companies, not consumers

Most of the commentary on the UK’s economic recovery focuses on consumers. Are they taking on too much debt again to finance their spending? Is there a bubble in house prices, as people get excited about bricks and mortar again? Certainly, in terms of its sheer size,

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