In Hong Kong, one of the world’s most free market economies, all land is owned by the state. Property prices are watched closely for signs of speculation… in Hong Kong, one of the world’s most free market economies. Since the early 1980s, UK house prices have increased by more than 400 per cent.
Because land cannot be traded or transported, and because more land cannot be produced, an economy built on land and property is an unhealthy economy. In 1992, before entering a recession from which Japan is yet to recover, the value of the Tokyo real estate market was five times greater than the value of every single share on every single stock exchange in the world.
Inside the Square Mile, two new skyscrapers will open before the end of 2014, the search for tenants is ongoing, and has forced other projects to be suspended or cancelled. Property is lazy… bone-idle… day-after-day it sits around the city… forever blowing bubbles. Property doesn’t like to work.
On 8th May 2013, the think-tank, CLASS, released a recommendation that the UK government adopt a land value tax. Done properly, and such a policy would help move the tax-burden from those who have less on to those who have more. Done properly, the tax would make the UK a fairer, more equal country.