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Counting the Cost

Priced out of the city

Counting the Cost explores rising housing prices to find out who is inflating the market and who is being left behind.

Last updated: 16 Nov 2013 10:16
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From London to Sao Paulo, Shanghai to Sydney, we are witnessing another property bubble, just after the worst financial crisis the world has seen since the 1930s.

This week on Counting the Cost, we look at property - not just at prices and bubbles and mortgages, but the idea of where people are buying and living, where they cannot buy and live and all the social and economic factors which take people in and out of home ownership.

Owning a house is something a lot of people aspire to along with family and a job, it is kind of one of life bedrocks.

After the worst financial crisis in more than 70 years, house prices are in many cases rising faster than the economy. In the US, the average home value is now within just 7 percent of the pre-crisis peak, which was $230,400 in July 2006.

In Sydney, Australia average house prices surged 13 percent to $718,122 in the first three quarters of 2013.

China is concerned about a property bubble and social unrest, with house prices up 9.1 percent until September 2013.

In India, house prices in Mumbai have increased 70 percent in the past four years while house prices in Sao Paulo, Brazil went up 181 percent since January 2008. And in Dubai despite the crash prices went up by one-third in the last six months, but they are still off their 2008 peak.

So is it a new housing bubble? Who is inflating the market and who is being left behind?

Counting the Cost speaks to David Ireland, the CEO of Empty Homes in London; Gareth Hepworth, Habitat for Humanity Homes; and Timothy Pain, the CEO of Forest YMCA East London, about the rise in house prices.

But owning your own home can come with its own problems in these times: According to a recent report, home ownership actually contributes to high unemployment. The report is mainly based on US data, so can findings hold true for other parts of the world?

Many governments have moved to help people to own homes with interest rates and first-homeowner schemes etc, but has that contributed to unemployment?

To discuss the correlation between unemployment and home ownership, we speak with the report's author Andrew Oswald, who is joining us from Warwick University in Coventry in the UK. 

Tech start-ups

It was the most anticipated technology market listing since Facebook went public last year. The loss-making social network Twitter raised more than $2bn in its IPO with shares valued at $26 each.

But then it listed and went absolutely crazy surging 73 percent to $44.90, valuing the company at $30bn - the complete opposite of what happened to Facebook when it listed. Its stock was a flop on opening day, lost value and took more than a year to recover.

But how are these companies made? Who spots them in their infancy?

We speak with Saul Klein, a partner at Index Ventures, which goes out looking for tech start-ups to invest in; and Paul Davison, CEO and founder of Highlight, a social network app.

Watch each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 2230; Saturday: 0930; Sunday: 0330; Monday: 1630. Click here for more Counting the Cost.

Follow Kamahl Santamaria @KamahlAJE and business editor Abid Ali@abidoliverali

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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