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Knock Knock News: UK property market second only to Monaco, anti-gentrification protests, Labour propose bold house-building scheme & wages spent on rent

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36,342 London properties held by offshore companies:

The Economist reports that in the last 20 years, Britain has seen house prices rise by more than any other country in the G7, with Rightmove suggesting that if things carry on this way, the average house price in London will be £1million by 2020. Transparency International’s research showed that 36,342 London properties are held by offshore companies, with one tenth of all property in Westminster owned by firms located in tax havens. While the number of empty properties in England has fallen from 711,000 in 2004 down to 610,000 ten years later, in 2014, demand has risen for property as the population has grown by 11%.

Source: The Economist

Anti-gentrification protestors attack high street estate agency in Shoreditch:

This weekend, anti-gentrification protestors attacked a high street estate agency - Marsh and Parsons - in Shoreditch, Hackney in a bid to protect London’s working class from ‘dog-eat-dog economics’, with the Facebook event page stating, “We don’t want luxury flats that no one can afford, we want genuinely affordable housing”. The protestors threw chairs at the estate agents’ windows and attempted to kick them in, leaving them smashed, as well as defacing Brick Lanes’ controversial Cereal Café, by throwing paint over the shop.

Source: The Independent

Labour proposes the biggest social house-building drive since 1970s

The Labour party is considering backing a house-building scheme that is on par with that of the mid-70s. The former Treasury minister, now shadow housing minister, John Healey said that they could build 100,000 housing association homes and council houses a year – quadruple the number of affordable homes currently being built - which would help with the country’s affordability crisis. With over 1.1 million working families claiming housing benefits, the rise in low-rent homes would potentially minimize the housing benefits bill and save taxpayers’ money in the long run.

Source: The Guardian

41% of Brits’ wages spent on rent

Studies show that Brits spend almost half of their monthly pay on rent, with the average rental cost in the UK accounting for 41% of salaries, and Londoners shelling out, on average, 50% of their take home pay on rent – with the average rental price totaling an enormous £1,472.

West Midlands and Wales are doing better off, with 28% of their monthly wage going on their rental costs, and those in the North East spend the least of their salaries on rent, 25% - a quarter less than their Londoner counterparts. Estate agents revealed that the number of homes on sale fell by almost one-third last month, making it the lowest level in over a decade.

Source: Daily Mail

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