Ed Conway’s historical analysis of the causes of the housing crisis (May 21) focuses comprehensively on factors affecting supply and demand.
He does not, however, address the equally critical factor concerning the currency unit in which property prices are measured. It is obvious that sustained currency debasement over a given period will cause nominal property prices to rise, and the Treasury’s policy of quantitive easing (a convenient euphemism for creating money out of thin air) provides a classic illustration.
It is equally obvious that a general loss of confidence in the ability of a currency to maintain its purchasing power will lead its holders to seek a more reliable store of value, and property is one of the traditional investment targets in such circumstances, again triggering a rise in nominal prices.
Omission of any reference to the effect on property prices of monetary debasement leaves Mr Conway’s otherwise excellent analysis incomplete.
Emile Woolf FCA