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Simon Taylor

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  1. The children will have to miss out and there is the point at which the market deflates; without the inherited housing wealth being pumped back into housing there will be no-one able to support prices being asked. This is basically the housing market eating itself.
  2. Dear voter, You raise an interesting point. However, many of us in government own houses we rent to low life like you, so, kindly, and with all due respect, FO. We remain, Sir, your loyal servant etc etc
  3. This beggars belief... For three years, the couple tried to negotiate with the bank, arguing that they were still able to pay the £770-a-month mortgage bill from their £1,300 joint income and £200 of mortgage interest support from the Government. So all those people paying rent out of taxed income are subsidising people who bought houses they couldn't really afford.
  4. The fact that banks were happy to lend on an IO basis for 25 years without verifying any ability on the part of the borrower to repay the capital might lead some to conclude that this is the banks' problem. But the very fact that lots of people were able to borrow lots of money to buy houses that , clearly, they couldn't actually afford, makes it everyone else's problem too; this sort of lending pushed house prices up and placed the earnings of the most productive years of a generation into the hands of banks. It'll be hard on the individuals involved, but for the greater good, these houses will have to be surrendered and the loans repaid. IO without the capability for repayment is no longer possible so these existing deals will need to run their course. The deflationary effect on house prices as this lending is removed from the market will be of greater benefit than the pain felt by the banks.
  5. Yes there is - the state restricts the supply through the planning system then boosts demand by liberalising lending, increasing the money supply and , when all else fails, throws the housebuilders a massive bail out in the form of HTB. The same grateful housebuilders respond by lowering already poor quality, pulling scams like creating new leaseholds on newbuild houses. We used to laugh when post Soviet Russia rewarded friends of the state like this.
  6. Planning restrictions are most certainly the barrier to better housing; the state permit to build creates an artificial scarcity of land and increases the value of the little land available way beyond its utility or value in a free market. The more money which is spent on the land means less for design and build quality. Developers will always try to build cheaply but in a properly free market, the large developers wouldn't have such market dominance and competition improves the breed, right? I don't advocate a complete removal of regulation but I do believe that there should be a presumption towards freedom to build. Any state regulation should be aimed at improving the quality of what is built rather than where it is built. For example, minimum room sizes, energy efficiency, insulation standards and quality of materials with regard to the local vernacular etc. Such a change would disrupt the business models of the likes of Bovis, Persimmons , TW etc and reduce the market power they have. It would also remove the need for the grotesque nonsense that is HTB.
  7. Ok, but then consider a time when the state didn't dictate where housing was built. We got some of the best designed and built houses which are still the most desired of all housing classes. The speculative builders who gave us Georgian terraces, Victorian cottages and the spacious , suburban 3 bed semis with gardens front and back weren't having to deal with council planning departments and arbitrary housing targets. Nothing being built now, or since the 1974 T&CPA will stand this test of time. Yes, slums were built but subsequently cleared and replaced; the current systems makes it far too expensive to rip down housing which should be replaced - lot of 1970s new-build for example - and our housing stock declines in quality rather than improving. Imagine the cars we'd be driving if the state meddled in car production in the same way.
  8. No it hasn't. Most of the estates which are liable to IHT do so because of the value of the family home. True, the income to pay the mortgage when the house was purchased in, say, 1970, for , say, £20,000.00 has been taxed. The huge uplift which results in the same house selling in 2018 for £1,000,000.00 has not been taxed. It's a huge tax-free windfall, a gift from successive governments and their dysfunctional housing policies. Hard to imagine a fairer tax, frankly.
  9. Quite. Here's a better idea; why doesn't the state get out of the allocation of housing land completely? It's the state permit to build which creates the artificial scarcity of land on which to build.. Let landowners and housebuilders (volume or individual self-builders) decide what the land should cost. The current system is too arbitrary, open to corruption and makes houses too expensive. Political interference in the housing market has made our houses smaller, more expensive and generally very poor quality.
  10. Yep. I don't know why anyone under 40 is exercised by their entitlement to the state pension. it'll be means tested to the point of obsolescence by the time they reach an age at which they might expect to receive it. What people should be concentrating on is arranging their private pension arrangements in a way that stops future governments getting their thieving hands on it to buy the votes of those who haven't made such arrangements.
  11. If you really want a planning shake-up that might actually stand some chance of getting some better quality housing then don't give the large developers anything, make it easier for self-build instead, or small developments at the most (because there's something to be said for a single street not being a mish-mash of different designs). Now we have accord; such a shake up will remove the advantages the volume developers have. Making more land for small scale development and, even better, self build, will give us better housing. People building their own homes have the motivation to invest in good design, quality materials and good design. New development doesn't have to mean more of the same drab, pisspoor housing we currently get; it's just a shame that until the systemic bias changes, this is exactly what we'll get.
  12. Yes, the big builders would still want to treat houses as a commodity. But a reform of planning law would disrupt their business model . Smaller, more innovative business could buy land cheaply and build a better product. Competition improves the breed... The volume housebuilders love the status quo; the complex planning system suits those with the resources to navigate it and the lobbying clout for when things get sticky. Hence HTB which further boosts the market for identikit crappy little boxes. Your point about Victorian housing is valid except that these houses, with improvement and periodical updating, remain attractive and desirable places in which to live. Do you suppose the same will be said about anything built by Barratt, Persimmon et al in a hundred years time? I find it strange that you consider anyone wanting better, cheaper housing for their children as 'wierd'. I wonder as to how you are housed and what motivates your dislike of development.
  13. Indeed. The planning system creates an artificial scarcity of land on which to build. The big housebuilders want to squeeze every last inch, for sound commercial reasons. The result is the poorly designed and badly built new homes which are the smallest yet most expensive in Europe. Freeing up land would bring the price of land down. The money can be spent on the design and the fabric of new housing. Our best looking and most desired housing are the Georgian terraces, Victorian cottages and Edwardian villas which were speculatively built without state intervention. There is a very good article of the detrimental effect of land costs on housing by Philip Aldrick in today's Times. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/business/land-reform-can-put-the-cost-of-housing-back-on-solid-ground-l5mjccg6j The last paragraph neatly sums up why we may not get the necessary reform from this government.. Reform of the 1961 law is not even that fanciful. Housing, we’re told, will be the centrepiece of the budget and the Tories pledged to make compulsory purchase orders less expensive for councils in their manifesto. It would be a brave move. Private landowners, the party’s natural constituents, made an estimated £9.3 billion profit in 2015, according to the Centre for Progressive Capitalism, or £60,000 on every new home built that year. How bold does the government feel?
  14. Or how about something really radical? CGT on HPI; it's the dysfunctional housing policies of successive governments which have caused house prices to race ahead of earnings (and RPI/CPI) so why shouldn't the state have a share of the uplift? This will also take a lot of liquidity out of the market and keep prices subdued.
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