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This topic has been discussed on here many times before but not in recent weeks (unless I've missed the thread).

I feel that unless the government (possibly by proxy through private sector incentives) builds hundreds of thousands of new homes every year for the next X years then where are the millions on council house waiting lists expected to live? Where are people who buy into the private sector expected to live?

I've never really subscribed entirely to the housing shortage argument but the fact remains that the housing system in the UK is broken.

The older stock of housing in the UK is rapidly becoming obsolete especially from an energy efficiency perspective. There's an oversupply of certain types of housing (e.g. inner city apartments) and not enough family houses.

I can't see any other option but for the government to revise the planning system making development much freer maybe by setting up a system of development zoning.

People herding into ever smaller and over-crowded enclaves is just a recipe for disaster imo. Sometimes I feel like things could turn ugly very quickly.

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Firstly, being on a council waiting list does not mean you have nowhere to live or indeed even need housing at all. It is an expression of the desire to rent a council property - nothing more. The numbers mushroomed when the right to buy was brought in as renting a council house for a few years is free money from the taxpayer. When I worked for the council many of the people I interviewed on our list were prepared to lie through their eye teeth to get a property. The current waiting list for a yacht berth at St Malo marina is ten years. This does not mean lots of people have a 30ft boat in their loft.

Second, as you rightly say there is no shortage of housing in the UK. The problem is everyone wants to live in the South East and in a nice house in the suburbs. There are a million properties empty in the UK I believe. Many people own more than one (I used to) so the "need" is somewhat of a misnomer - it reflects the fact some people can afford a place for the odd weekend somewhere nice as well as the main residence (and if you are me somewhere overseas too - I now live in that one having sold up in the UK).

Building houses is also pointless if no one can afford to live in them. The missus and I had our eye on some marina flats when they were being built. We put our name down on the mailing list. The builders (Oakdene) wouldn't give us a price until they were built (market forces old chap). When they were finished they mailed us and told us the price. When I had changed my underwear and trousers I replied to say no. Oakdene went bust and half the flats are still unsold - they have been for 5 years. Yup 5 years - in the South East - at a marina location. The receiver (Pricewaterhouse Coopers) is still trying to sell off the rest at the original asking price. You can buy a brand new 3 bed house within walking distance for 30 grand less.

An increase in house building if it were to happen will reflect the fact that the builders can make money from the activity. Both Eire and the US have "ghost" estates of new build that stand empty. Spain has whole towns like it. All three countries have problems with homelessness and issues funding temporary and social housing..

I'm pleased the subject isn't getting much space on here -its mostly an opportunity for bigots to bang on about immigration but serves little if anything to answer the debate that everyone actually cares about - the future direction of UK house prices. New build only affects the areas in which it is built - and then by little from what I have seen to be honest, most new build reflects the existing prices.

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I feel that unless the government (possibly by proxy through private sector incentives) builds hundreds of thousands of new homes every year for the next X years then where are the millions on council house waiting lists expected to live? ugly very quickly.

That's just what the recent boom has done, to encourage builders to make many two-room hab-units, described as "homes", or investments!

Would any of us want to buy one? :huh:

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  • 415 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?

      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%

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