Foreign Ownership Of Capital Beyond Westminster

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By many accounts, British property is now the most expensive in the world, particularly in the densely populated southeast. Property prices have increased more in the UK as compared with every other country in the G7. Rising property prices are felt most severely by the UK’s younger population, as more are forced to work in less productive areas or take long ‘marathon commutes’. Approximately 24 percent of people born in 1990 own houses. Due to the increasing real estate prices, general home ownership peaked at 2003 when it reached 71 percent and has been dwindling steadily ever since then. Whilst many people blame this surge in prices on wealthy foreigners who see London and other urban areas as a “Tax-efficient investments” there is very little evidence to support this argument, foreign ownership of capital beyond Westminster is quite rare. In Islington the rate is 1.3 percent, and outside of London this rate is even lower. Most economists agree that the primary reason for the booming housing market is population growth. In the past two decades, Britain’s population has increased by approximately eleven percent per year, almost twice the median rate in the European Union. Moreover, that fact that people are marrying later in life and divorce is becoming more socially acceptable and common further increases the need for housing. Approximately ten percent of the Britain’s population now lives alone. Rapidly rising demand is met with a decreasing supply. Due to rigid

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