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London house prices are power-law distributed

Niall MacKay

posted on 04 February 2011

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We explore the house price distributions for the English cities of London, Manchester, Bristol, Newcastle, Birmingham and Leeds. We find Pareto (power law) behaviour in their upper tails, which is clearly distinct from lognormal and gamma distributions in the cases of London, Manchester and Newcastle. For London, the city with the lowest power, this is a striking match with that found in the wealth distribution of the super-rich. We propose an index of Housing Wealth Inequality based on the Pareto exponent and analogous to the Gini coefficient, and comment on its possible uses.