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Forget London House Prices. Take a Look at Paris


Before a sex tape dashed Benjamin Griveaux’s hopes of becoming the next mayor of Paris, the preferred candidate of French President Emmanuel Macron could be found promoting his answer to the capital city’s increasingly dysfunctional housing market. What the average priced-out Parisian needed, according to Griveaux, was a handout of 100,000 euros ($108,380) to use as down-payment in return for a stake in any upside from the property’s resale down the line. “Paris is choking its middle class,” he warned, a year after anti-Macron protesters broke into his office building.

Maybe it’s a good thing such a policy won’t get tested. The U.K.’s own “Help To Buy” plan shows how boosting demand may only add fuel to the fire. Between 2010 and 2018, the price of the average London home rocketed 72%, according to government data, while homelessness rose 209%.

But it also shows just how desperate some politicians are when it comes to dealing with the effects of a property boom that bears some of the hallmarks of an excessive bubble.

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