The sight of a shabbily dressed Jeremy Corbyn standing silently during a rendition of the National Anthem caused a media stir this week. The furore came within days of Labour's new, left-wing leader taking office and has only heightened scrutiny of a man who a few months ago was virtually unknown outside parliamentary circles. A staunch republican, keen admirer of Karl Marx, and an avowed pacifist who advocates nuclear disarmament, Corbyn has tapped into a clear appetite for change within the Labour party. Housing is one area where Mr Corbyn wants to make a difference. In order to stimulate new home supply, he backs 'use it or lose it' powers to prevent developers land-banking residential sites. And in the Private Rented Sector, Corbyn advocates capping rent rises as well as extending Right to Buy to tenants of institutional landlords - a policy already labelled "far-fetched" by the British Property Federation. Yet whilst none of his policies will be implemented if Labour remain in opposition, the arrival of Mr Corbyn has changed Labour's stance and will re-frame the housing debate. Whether by his dress sense or his policies, Jeremy Corbyn is going to carry on stirring things up!
The latest UK Consensus forecast from the IPF has shown that confidence amongst fund managers and advisors remains high. City Offices are expected to be the stand-out performers with returns now predicted to 19.9% for the year, up 3.5% from May. This forecast was supported by Gerald Eve's latest City floor review which revealed that strong Q2 lettings and a narrowing of supply is continuing to force up rents. Indeed, prime rents in the City are expected to hit £67.50 psf by the end of the year. Welcome news for those developers who have submitted planning applications for a flurry of speculative developments over the summer.
The 16th edition of the UBS Price and Earnings Study released this week confirmed what most Londoners already know - the Capital is painfully expensive! The findings compare prices, wages and earners' purchasing power in 71 cities around the globe. And it will come as no surprise to its residents that London is ranked in the Top 5 most expensive cities in which to work and live. In contrast, London ranks just 13th for average earnings with net wages falling well short of the likes of Sydney, New York and Zurich. A closer look at the price comparisons also highlights the disproportionate cost of housing. For example, in London an unfurnished 3 bedroom flat costs on average USD 3,350 per month. This is enough to rent 2 separate apartments should you wish to split your time between Amsterdam and Beijing. But before cash-strapped residents bemoan these findings too much, we should remember that 'expense' is all relative. After all a McDonald's Big Mac costs almost 3 hours of average earnings in Nairobi, compared with just 12 minutes of hard graft in London.
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