By Angus P. J. McIntosh, Stephen G. Sykes (auth.)

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II Property investment has a very low liquidity. It is often time consuming and expensive in professional fees and stamp duty to purchase a building. Even at times of significant inflation, property values only increase gradually. It may take many months to sell a building and selling is also expensive in terms of professional fees. The problem is best explained with a simple example. Imagine a property cost £1 million to purchase. 75%. The total cost is therefore £1 027 500. The property has got to increase in value by nearly 5% before the purchaser can recover all his capital costs of purchase and sale.

In other words, the cost of short-term finance necessary for building construction had more than doubled. Quantitative controls were also imposed on bank lending. Then, as now, banks were only one type of financial intermediary. [1] Publicly quoted companies, including property companies, found that not only could they not borrow from the banks, but they were also unable to make rights issues to existing shareholders as a way of raising credit to carry out property development. The strict monetary policies were being imposed at the same moment that the economy was recovering from the war and there were no longer the restrictions on property development that had existed in the late-1940s.

The delegation of power to these two authorities has been altered in recent years in an effort to make the planning system more efficient. Land development for planning purposes is defined as the 'carrying out of ... operations in, on, over or under land or the making of any material change of use in any building or other land' (Town and Country Planning Act 1971). To enable control to be effective 'use classes order' categorise various land uses. Within a particular use class, changes are permitted.

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