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FallingAwake

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Everything posted by FallingAwake

  1. I hope the author realizes that under the Prevention Of Crimes Before They Happen Act 2017, wondering why the middle classes aren't rioting is an Inciteful Thought Leading To Incitement To Riot, and is punishable by 3-5 years in prison.
  2. OK, fair enough, and I agree, although I do think it's probably time to review the whole green belt thing. We have so much countryside that I think 1 or 2% extra built on would hurt. But it would probably trigger a minor house price crash... so it's clearly not going to happen anyway.
  3. I've said this before, but I don't think there is ANY ideal HPC party. But as Bruce said, UKIP haven't been responsible for the current mess we're in, while Labour and Con/LibDem have. Plus, I do think the vast amount of immigration that we've seen from 1997 onwards has stoked house prices significantly, by allowing landlords to break up what would have been family homes, and to rent out rooms at a time (for a higher overall rent on the property), thus reducing the number of family homes available. This is most pronounced in London, but it's happened where I live in Birmingham. Most of the big houses where I live are rented out as apartments, bedsits and shared accommodation.
  4. OK, but when was the "green belt" conceived? Wasn't it in the 1950's or even earlier? Given that the UK population was 50m in 1951, and is now 64m, you are basically saying those extra 14 million people must stay within an artificial boundary conceived when the population was quite a bit smaller. If we had a stable population, I could understand. But we have a growing population, and not just from immigration, but also from "natural" growth (i.e. the difference between births and deaths each year). Even without any immigration, our population would still be growing. So the result of what you're saying is that ever more people must compete over the same % of UK land, as defined by a policy in the 1950's (or earlier!). That doesn't sound quite right to me
  5. What I don't get is, if it's so "normal", why are interest rates still at their emergency level and apparently collapse the economy if they were to rise by even a few % points, and people need Help to Buy, 20% discounts and Bank of Mom and Dad just to even have a chance of affording a home?
  6. Yes, it's a shortage of affordable homes... or rather, of houses that younger people in particular can afford to buy without Help To Buy, 20% Off, Bank of Mom and Dad and gambling that both mortage signees will be together and still in work for the next 30 years. But since our political elite seem to be hellbent on keeping house prices high, that means it is, in essence, a shortage of homes. If they're going to keep prices high, there is no practical difference.
  7. Why don't they just put them in "the empty homes". Simples.
  8. Haha, clever... nice conflating of different issues into one sentence... I like it, you should become a politician! Those evil London-based estate agents themselves confirm that a decent % of high end properties in London are bought by rich foreigners. (Issue #1). People coming here on the back of trucks obviously aren't buying "million pound houses" any time soon. But they may end up renting what was, 20 years ago, a family home... now with 5 other strangers and paying the landlord £500 a month for the privelege. (Issue #2), simultaneously pricing a family out of owning or renting that home. That's assuming they work. If not, the landlord becomes the State. (Issue #3).
  9. OK then... perhaps it's fairer to say there is a shortage of genuinely affordable housing. Maybe not in Edinburgh, but certainly it becomes increasingly true the further south you go. And as for London, it's not merely a question of overcrowding. You're paying £800 or more a month for a room, in many cases! So in a 4 bedroom house, that is £3,200 in rent, where perhaps 20 years ago it might have been rented out to one family at much less in real terms. So families lose out, and people end up paying rent for basically a room! The problem is high house prices, but I think part of the contributing problem to high house prices is the sheer number of people we keep stuffing into the same % of land. As the immigration figures show, we have jumped from a few tens of thousands each year throughout the last century, to over 200,000 more NET immigrants every year in the 2000's, and that's on top of the 200,000 or so NET additional people who are born in this country (i.e. the difference between births and deaths). Whether there is a "shortage" of houses or not, these people have to live somewhere. Where are they living? They are being stuffed into the same % of land... in smaller properties, or into chopped up houses, or living with their parents for longer, in ever-more crowded cities. Yes, we know the solution is lower house prices. But I don't think that's going to happen significantly, until we also stop pumping hundreds of thousands of new people into the same % of land every year. These people may not be buying up £500k properties in London, but they are living somewhere... and so are probably paying rent (x5 per property) to a landlord who can then afford to buy up that £500k property. Look at the figures. House prices began to soar at about the same time as immigration soared. I have no proof of correlation, but it's also an amazing coincidence if there isn't any. It can't just be the economy, because our economy tanked from 2008 onwards, and yet immigration only dropped a bit. House prices also dropped a bit, and then continued upwards. So I'd say that house prices vs immigration figures seem a lot more correlated than house prices v the economy, or house prices v interest rates.
  10. Well, we either reduce the numbers coming into the country each year, or expand the green belt, or both. I prefer both, but at least UKIP are tackling one. The other parties have, so far, done neither.
  11. I suspect the majority of these people rent. Now, in some areas of London that pushes rents higher, or enables landlords who might have rented out a house to a family for £1k, to split it up into a flatshare at £500 each, ie £2500. Also, it depends where immigrants go. Are there the same % of immigrants heading to Edinburgh as London? I don't know whether this kind of regional data is easily available. If it hasn't happened where you are, could it be your area hasn't had the same levels of immigration as areas where prices and total rent per property (not just per person) has gone crazy?
  12. Says kind of a lot, doesn't it? 1997 was definitely the turning point. I am trying to wrack my brain as to a significant event that happened in 1997....
  13. Yes, and most of the increase before the 1990's was due to the difference between births and deaths, even though the average annual birth date has been declining each decade. The only thing that changed in the 1990s was... much higher immigration. Really, I'm surprised UKIP don't make more of these figures. I find them quite shocking... and especially if, as Executive Sadman suggests, we take them up to 2011.
  14. OK, I found this table on Wikipedia: Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demography_of_the_United_Kingdom Now, it doesn't tell us everything, but I find it quite eye-opening. It appears our country had an annual net migration that was actually negative or a few tens of thousands... up until the 1990's. Then, it exploded to an annual of 61,000 for the 1991-2001 years, and then exploded again to 191,000 a year for 2001-2008. In other words, in terms of immigration it appears that the 90's and 2000's were indeed very different. So now... going to 50,000 immigrants a year is actually a return to the norm, whereas the 90's and 2000's were historical anomalies. Or, as some might prefer to call it, "Labour's social experiment".
  15. I agree that the main factor was loose lending. That said, the population of the UK in 1997 was 58m. Now it is 64m. That's an increase of six million people. Now, those 6 million are living somewhere! Some will be living 3,4 or 5 to a house... others perhaps renting a pokey little flat on their own. Either way, that's six million more people who need housing of some form. I find it hard to imagine that 6 million more people with housing needs is just a "minor" factor. Of course, it's probably difficult to say exactly what impact this population increase has had (unless we can actually quantify the effects of "loose lending", "population" etc). However, I'll stick with the word significant for now, unless these 6 million extra people spend their nights on the street.
  16. Haha... thanks for posting that. Yes, Cameron, we think all of us should have a say in the referendum we were promised. So... it's 2014 now. Where is it? "Vote for me one more time, and this time I really promise to keep my word." Fool me once...
  17. Also, while I appreciate that correlation doesn't equal causation, it's very interesting that house prices also soared during the period when we had much higher net immigration. To me, it's common sense that if you stuff more and more people into the same % of land, it's inevitably going to have an upwards effect on house prices. Not necessarily the only reason house prices went up so crazily, but I'd say a significant factor.
  18. OK, I'm looking at the links, but as yet I don't see anything that helps to get a true historical perspective. A lot of the data starts in the 2000's, which is the equivalent of comparing house prices from 2003 onwards. It doesn't give a true perspective. I found a chart from this Wikipedia page... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_to_the_United_Kingdom_since_Irish_independence ...but curiously, there is only one chart that actually shows overall immigration / emigration figures, and that only stretches back to 1991. So even here we can see a marked increase in immigration from about 1997 onwards. But I'd still like to see a 50 year chart, not just a 20 year one.
  19. Good point. And since it was Cameron who proposed this, maybe you should ask him.
  20. To answer the first question, I don't know. But if Cameron thought he could get it down to 100k with us still in the EU, I don't see why it couldn't be done. What were the immigration numbers in the 70s and 80s? I doubt it was anywhere close to today's figures. As for the effect on the UK economy? Well, I personally think it would be beneficial. Our youngsters wouldn't be competing with as many people, for one. No doubt you have a study or two to show that I'm wrong and in fact, the sky would fall and we'd be plunged into a huge depression. In fact, as an open question to all .. does anyone have immigration figures from the past 50 years? Maybe that would help our analysis.
  21. Fantastic. No doubt if they were public, the price gouging would commence.
  22. The only thing in short supply, or rather "restricted" supply, is LAND. If the government allowed sufficient land to be built upon at a nominal cost, we could quite easily see hundreds of thousands or even millions of homes spring up quite quickly. Perhaps fast-tracking certain self-builds, pre-fabricated structures or things like that. Of course, it won't happen because our politicians [a] lack imagination, have vested interests in maintaining the status quo, and [c] would be lobbied to death by groups in category b. It's all rather pathetic, really.
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