In the future, we remind ourselves that money is not an end, but rather a means to exchange, make, and do things. It is merely a common currency or a language with which we may estimate value, but by no means fully captures the feelings and outcomes associated with the things and experiences to which we try to ascribe a value.
But I turn your attention to property, which people have, through the centuries, often related to money, but also power and control of resources. Traditional economic models do not always hold true in the property market. Some property owners are willing to leave their properties empty and let them decay, rather than circumvent further losses by adjusting their asking prices downward in order to successfully sell or rent them. High demand for property has not led to increases of supply nor to failing prices. Perhaps it is because the supply of land and the supply of materials with which we may construct buildings on land – steel, concrete, silicon, clay bricks and mortar – are finite. However, we can adapt our attitudes and approaches, by re-using existing materials, using renewable building materials, or inventing new materials.
If we are to protect property, its future requires a shift in beliefs and assumptions from one of ownership to one of stewardship. We would no longer assert that property is a source of perpetually rising values and continuous income streams. Price speculation is replaced by compassion for other other people and understanding others' needs for adequate shelter and social connection. Unbridled development for the sake of private profits is replaced by the understanding that we are simply renters benefiting from a very, very long leasehold of planet Earth. We pay not even a peppercorn rent, yet we are costing the Earth.