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Paris, Capital of Modernity by David Harvey

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CHAPTER SIX

RENT AND THE PROPERTIED INTEREST

It is the ground-rent, and not the house, which forms the actual object of building speculation in rapidly growing cities.

—MARX

Between 1848 and 1852, the Parisian property market underwent its severest and most prolonged depression of the century. In some bourgeois quarters, where the depression hit hardest, vacancy rates stood as high as one-sixth, rents fell by half, and property prices (if sales were possible at all) were severely depressed.1 The Second Empire reversed all that. It proved to be the golden age in a century noted for relatively secure and high rates of return and appreciation on Parisian property. But it was also an era in which the social meaning and orientation of property ownership ...

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