Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Misplaced outrage - London flat prices

Link here

A ridiculously tiny flat listed for rent in North London has caused a furor and is set to be investigated by the local council, according to The Guardian.

The “fully furnished” Kings Cross studio was listed for rent online earlier this week for more than $1,234 a month, despite the fact the single bed is practically touching the sink. 

The outrage here is completely misplaced.  The reason that flats in London are so expensive are the horrendous laws regarding public spaces and building.  London is a wonderful city, but the amount of land where residents are prohibited to build is stunning.  Further, there are few sky-rises.  I'm pretty certain there is plenty of money that could be made by building 10-20 story apartment buildings, but the local zoning laws make it prohibitive.

(Here is a google maps shot of London.  In this screenshot there are three 3 parks that are all about the size of Central Park.)

The price of this flat is high because there are too many government regulations.  Somehow I doubt the local government council will be able to figure that out, unfortunately.


  1. The housing situation in london reminds me of hong kong. Housing prices have reached obsurd levels even more obsurd than the real estate bubble in the USA six or seven years ago. Its funny with real estate bubbles everyone of a certain class status seems to want to live in the most trendy areas chicagos inner city or certain places in new yourk city. We are witnessing a defacto Desegregation of sorts. Based on class education job status. Not a good trend. Check out charles murreys book breaking apart. Whenever theirs extreame concentration of wealth income job status it tends to corrupt the political system. Im not just talking about the top one percent here it might be the top twentieth percentile...

  2. Breaking Apart is a great book. (Murray's newest - Curmudgeon's Guide - is also great.) I also agree that the differences between the 20th percentile and the 80th percentile are more concerning than what's happening with the top 1%.