So of course the Blairs have jumped on the property gravy train, snapping up more than two dozen flats in Manchester through a company Cherie and one of their sons, Euan, own; passing on properties from Cherie to her children as gifts, thus avoiding stamp duty, and ultimately amassing £27m worth of property, much of which is let out and has all already risen in value.
While house prices rise and first-time buyer rates remain static, using wealth to buy property is far more stable an investment than stocks. The financial affairs of the Blairs and the property market tell us an extraordinary amount about the housing crisis. Guardian research revealed earlier this week that two-bed rentals are out of reach of most people on average incomes in many parts of the country. In the areas where homes are more affordable, and starting a family possible, there are often employment issues.
It’s bad that they own and rent out two dozen flats. It’s bad that renting a flat is expensive. Slightly missing the point that people who own and then rent out flats reduce the rents that must be paid to rent a flat. Greater supply does depress prices you know.
Economics and The Guardian columnist, never a good mix.