Brexit ‘bad for house prices’
The Group of Seven major economies has agreed to more aggressive action to fight financing of terrorism and violent extremism. Finance leaders of the G7 issued an “action plan” following talks in northern Japan yesterday, calling for increased exchanges of information on financial intelligence, reducing the level of crossborder transactions subject to disclosure and collaborate on targeted sanctions for terrorists’ financial networks. The announcement followed two days of talks ahead of a G7 summit in central Japan’s Ise region this week. The officials spent Friday discussing ways to use monetary policy, government spending and longer-term reforms to help support growth. “All of us were really able to have a candid discussion and to reaffirm the important role of the G7,” said Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso. Having agreed to only tacit coordination of their varying strategies for boosting growth, the G7 finance meeting turned yesterday to issues such as terrorist financing, tax evasion and support for fighting pandemics. Aso acknowledged differences with the US over such issues as exchange rates, but insisted there was no friction, after meeting with US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew. “They have their own position. They have an election coming and we also have an election coming,” he said. “We have to say what we think to each other because it’s business. It’s normal to exchange views and ensure things will not go awry because issues become too emotional.” Lew said he hoped the talks would keep on track commitments made during recent discussions by the wider Group of 20 major economies, where members pledged to not manipulate exchange rates to their own advantage. British house prices could fall by up to 18 per cent if Britain leaves the European Union. UK Treasury chief George Osborne said leaving the EU would be a “profound economic shock” that would lower property values and raise mortgage rates. Treasury analysis estimates property prices will be worth between 10 and 18 per cent less by 2018 if Britain leaves than if it stays. However, it was a claim dismissed as scaremongering by campaigners for a UK exit from the bloc. British house prices rose nine per cent in the year to March, and the value of property is something of a national obsession - especially in London, where the average home costs £535,000 ($775,000), 10 times the average annual household income. Osborne said allies including France, Germany and the US agreed that “it would be bad for the British economy if we left the European Union”. But Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom, who backs a “leave” vote in Britain’s June 23 referendum, said yesterday that “the greatest threat to the economy is the perilous state of the euro” currency.