A Reappraisal of the Freehold Property Market in Late Medieval England
45 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2017 Last revised: 6 Mar 2018
Date Written: July 18, 2017
This paper re-examines the late medieval market in freehold land, the extent to which it was governed by market forces as opposed to political or social constraints, and how this contributed to the commercialisation of the late medieval English economy. We employ a valuable new resource for study of this topic in the form of an extensive dataset on late medieval English freehold property transactions. Through analysis of this data, we examine how the level of market activity (the number of sales) and the nature of the properties (the relative proportions of different types of asset) varied across regions and over time. In particular, we consider the impact of exogenous factors such as war, plague and political crises, and the effects of growing commercialisation. In so doing, we present an important new perspective on the long-term evolution of the medieval English property market.
Keywords: English medieval property market, impact of crises, land prices
JEL Classification: N13, N23, N33, N53, N93
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