A considered view of real estate, investments and beyond


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THE GREAT “LAND QUESTION”

Having just delivered a panegyric on “Cities of Tomorrow” at a recent conference on Urban Sustainability, and praising the growing practice of ‘Citizen’s Juries’ across many countries in the world, I was momentarily thrown by a query from the audience asking: “what single policy measure would you propose for adjudication to promote civic progress?”. After a brief pause, intuitively I replied: “Land Value Taxation”. Poser The whole question of land policy lies at the heart of... Read More >

Recent Articles:

Notes from Cambridge 2 The Higher Education Policy Institute have produced a fine report measuring the economic benefits of international students to the UK
The Prime Minister continues to cling to the nonsensical view that foreign students should be counted in the immigration numbers. The policy was based on data since proven to be false, the PM’s assertion that 100,000 students overstayed their Read More >
Property Valuation: Climate change and perpetual assumptions We all need to be realistic about climate change
"The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating." - John Schaar, Legitimacy in the Modern State (1981) Although the quote above isn't directly related to the topic of climate change, it fits the ongoing debate about our Read More >
Bond yields and real estate prices – where next? The current round of asset price inflation has not fed into higher prices for consumers
The decade since the Global Financial Crisis has seen sharp increases in asset prices apparently driven by low interest rates. These low interest rates have been caused by quantitative easing, and lower interest rates have caused lower discount Read More >
Green Milestones How the design of the built environment has evolved to take account of ‘Green’ issues
In a new four-part series, David Shiers looks at how the design of the built environment has evolved to take account of ‘Green’ issues and considers what may lie ahead in the way we experience the buildings in which we live and work. With Read More >
Galloping Ahead: The American Jockey Invasion The influence of the American riding style from Willie Simms
In 1895 a solitary American jockey, the African American Willie Simms, rode in British racing. His unusual riding style—virtually crouching along the horse’s neck with short stirrups, high knees, and a tight rein—was in contrast to that of Read More >
The Premium of Place Harvesting the Rewards of Creative Placemaking
By strange and satisfying serendipity the other day, my opponent in a seniors golf match against another club was someone I’d last met back in the early 1980s when we were both members of what we liked to think was an elite fraternity in the Read More >
There is no such person as a fat jockey If riders cannot do the weight then they do not have a job
The result of the 1886 Cambridgeshire horse race shows that St Mirin was beaten a neck by Sailor Prince and that the losing horse carried a pound overweight. Jockey, Fred Archer, rider of second-placed St Mirin, blamed himself for the defeat as Read More >
Diary of a Travelling Academic Studying the Impact of the Panama Canal on Global Trade
One of the wonderful perks of being an academic is that most of us have the summers “off”. They are not really off, as many of us work hard on our research or take students on summer tours to study real estate... but that is often in a fun Read More >
Social Value: “Force for Good – Or the Emperor’s New Clothes?” A dubious dilemma
Worrisomely, I have been somewhat conflicted over the past few weeks. Academically and philosophically, I am engrossed in conjuring up a Keynote Address for an international conference in the autumn proselytising “A Commons Transition” in Read More >
Not pushing their weight: Corruption in Sumo Results at some tournaments exposed corruption in the form of match-fixing.
Some in the west might deem sumo a freak show in which obese children and even more obese adults are paraded to an admiring audience, but is it any more freakish than seven foot basketballers or 300 pound gridiron footballers who can run even Read More >
Health, wealth and happiness A radical shift in collective mind-sets and a new strategic direction for the world of property
Prelude More than two millennia ago, the celebrated Roman poet Publius Vergilius Maro, more familiarly Virgil, pronounced: “The greatest wealth is health.” Arguably, such a sagacious statement really needs no elaborate explanation or Read More >
Improving Numeracy on Real Estate Courses Numeracy is only one of many desirable attributes for students studying Real Estate
An old adage had it that “no-one got into Real Estate because they were good at maths”. If it was ever true that you didn’t need good numeracy skills in the property industry, it certainly isn’t now and one of the major challenges Read More >
Winning by not playing to win The rules of a competition can tempt teams to 'throw' a match
Most times teams do their utmost to win matches but on occasions the rules and organisation of a competition can tempt them to do otherwise. Take the 1994 Shell Caribbean Soccer tournament in which teams were divided into groups of three where Read More >
The Big Questions The role of real estate and the part it plays in our societies and cultures
“Imagine ahead - plan backwards” has long been my idiosyncratic mantra for exploring the future horizons facing global real estate; in contrast, conceptually, to the more traditional conjecture regarding industry vogues and emerging business Read More >
Dead Birds, Lengths of Rope and Olympic Medals The forgotten gold medallist Donald Mackintosh
Until the 1980s the official list of Olympic gold medallists was one shy of being complete. The records did not include Australian marksman, Donald Mackintosh’s victory in shooting at the Paris Olympic Games of 1900. However, diligent research Read More >
Are we Ill-Served by Poor Governance? David Shiers looks at the environmentalist view of property laws
In 1977, a then 16-year old William Hague said that his generation wanted the national government to “...get out of the way, not intervene, not interfere in their lives” and hoped that future Prime Ministers would promote a truly free-market Read More >
Bond yields and real estate prices – where next? Part one: What do recent rises in interest rates mean for property prices?
US 10-year Treasury Bill rates have been at an all-time low, having fallen below 2% for the first time in 2017. UK government bond (10 year) yields have also been lower than they have been at any time and 10 year Treasuries in Australia are Read More >
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare – Securing a career in Real Estate How Generation Z can secure employment in the real estate industry
We have always been told that success in the real estate world is down to "location, location, location". Yet for students aspiring to join the profession a more important mantra is "prepare, prepare, prepare". Competition for property related Read More >
Queensberry Rules of boxing: OK or KO? How the Queensberry Rules transformed bareknuckle fighting
John Shotto Douglas, the ninth Marquess of Queensberry, has two major claims to fame. First he was the nemesis of gay author Oscar Wilde who sued him for libel after he had publicly objected to the liaison that Wilde had with his son Lord Alfred Read More >
Property Valuation: the Importance of being Earnest Understanding price, value and worth
"A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing." Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan, 1892, Act III I know that the quote above is semantically looking at the words “price” and “value” in a deeper and Read More >
South east UK displayed on map Stamp duty, mobility and the housing crisis How replacing stamp duty with better-designed local taxes could alleviate the crisis of housing availability
The stamp duty — a tax to be paid on the transfer of certain legal documents — has a long history in England. It was first introduced in 1694 to help finance the war against France. Although initially thought as a temporary solution, the tax Read More >
Close up of a computer motherboard Isn’t it time residential agents fought back? The rise of online estate agency alternatives - and where they will go next
According to Savills, 2016 and the World Bank, the global real estate market is worth $217tr, 75% of which is residential property. Annual real estate trading has averaged $683bn annually since 2007 and reached $900bn in 2015. This represents Read More >
Blurred photograph of crowds walking through London The story of the secondary banking crisis 1973-1975 Duncan Needham, Director of the Centre for Financial History at the University of Cambridge, considers an oft-neglected episode of economic history
In 2008, financial institutions across the globe were engulfed by waves emanating from an over-extended US property sector. The problems surfaced in the ‘shadow’ banking sector, where much of the exposure to the US sub-prime housing market Read More >
Businessmen walking across a bridge The History Man: an introduction My career so far, from trading derivatives to academia
After graduating from the London School of Economics in 1994 with a degree in Government and History, I spent three years with Credit Suisse Financial Products in London and Tokyo before studying Shipping, Trade and Finance for a year at business Read More >
A Chinese building in the mountains, with a traditional ship afloat on a lake. Let’s talk about C.H.I.N.A. Dr Helen Bao introduces her series on private property ownership in China
In 1982, my uncle’s family was thrilled by some good news. The head of the family, my uncle Xiang, had been allocated a new apartment unit by his employer, which was the largest state-owned company in the remote town where he lived in China. Read More >
Young professionals working at desks in an office Proptech: the future of real estate? Andrew Baum, of the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford, explains how the latest developments in property technology might impact us all
2017 seems to mark a turning point. Proptech has been building such mass and momentum that it will change the world. Will we soon be able to buy a house with the click of a button? My report PropTech 3.0: the future of real estate, published Read More >

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Investor's Notebook

Smart people from around the world share their thoughts

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The Macro View

The week's financial news and how it connects across all asset classes

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Technology

Fintech, proptech and what it all means

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Uncorked

A sideways look at the world of wine

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Real money - the capital allocators

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The Architect

Some of the profession's best minds

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Making money from residential property investment

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The History Man

A look back at previous cycles, events, characters

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Money, rates and prices

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The Agent

Reflections on estate agency, today and in past times

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The inside scoop on Westminster and Whitehall

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