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Who owns central London?

December 6, 2017

Who owns England?

The Crown, the Church, and five aristocratic estates with a collective wealth of £22billion still own a thousand acres of central London’s super-prime real estate. That’s the conclusion of an investigation carried out by Who Owns England, featured in today’s Telegraph.

Alongside a number of newer estates, and a welter of offshore investors, these Great Estates collect millions of pounds in annual rents, making their owners some of the richest people in Britain. Yet much of the wealth of these landlords stems simply from the happy accident of inheriting land in one of the world’s most overheated property markets.  With London homeownership increasingly unaffordable for the bulk of the population, isn’t it time we started seriously exploring forms of land value tax to even things up a little?

The Octopus of Landlordism

In 1925, the radical journalist W.B. Northrup published a postcard depicting a giant octopus, labelled ‘landlordism’, spreading…

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