Housing in London is very expensive indeed. In fact it's so expensive indeed that Londonist HQ is imaginary and we all live in Derby.
However, thank your lucky charms that you aren't a lowly wannabe Argentinian farmer. He may not have to pay the congestion charge but farmland from the USA to Argentina is rising faster in price than apartments in Manhattan and London.
This is all to do with the rising demand for corn. Not only useful in its flake or on-the-cob manifestations, corn is also used in the production of ethanol.
This demand for corn increased the value of crop land 16% in Indiana and 35% in Idaho in 2006 while a pied-a-terre in Islington gained only 11%. A 200-acre Iowa farm increased 14% in a month when it sold for $5,700 an acre in October while in London, asking prices soared 62% in London's Kensington and Chelsea, but the rise in actual sales prices was 16%.
Three years ago people were skeptical about investing in farmland ... It's become much more sexy.
Investing in farmland! Of course! So sexy! We missed a trick on Valentine's day.
It also looks as though things should continue this way in the near future as the demand for corn used in ethanol got a boost from George Dubya last month, when during what has come to be known as an 'uncharacteristic good idea moment' he urged a fivefold increase in renewable fuels by 2017.
So.. if you've got the money, invest in some farmland, if you're a poor Argentinian looking to set your foot on the first rung of the corn farming ladder, seek employment elsewhere. As for us, we'll see you soon, posting will resume when the boom is over, we're off to Idaho to seek our fortunes!