House prices in London, most people agree, are too high. Orthodoxy on left and right says that this is due either to the free market or constraints on the free market respectively. The two sides propose different solutions. The right demand that planning controls be minimized or simply scrapped, while the left demand that new council houses be built. Oddly, this is in fact the same solution: build more houses. But when I hear the words ‘free market’, I reach for my revolver, for every market on the planet is shaped by government intervention, or distorted by monopolistic practices, or disrupted by political action.
Housing, it turns out, is a particularly unfree market, with some unique constraints. [Read more at The Leveller]