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A Planning Experiment

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ok, here's a scenario.

The government set out a new town, with plots / groups of plots, and sell them off to bidders. Some arbitrary limit on the number any one developer can purchase.

The experiment: Allow ANY development to take place, as long as:

- It complies with building regulations;

- Some nominal restrictions with regards to residential / commercial development

Anything goes, design and build whatever house you like.

I wonder what would happen.

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ok, here's a scenario.

The government set out a new town, with plots / groups of plots, and sell them off to bidders. Some arbitrary limit on the number any one developer can purchase.

The experiment: Allow ANY development to take place, as long as:

- It complies with building regulations;

- Some nominal restrictions with regards to residential / commercial development

Anything goes, design and build whatever house you like.

I wonder what would happen.

I reckon that regardless of what they built, they wouldn't be able to sell them for the prices they were asking for. :ph34r:

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I wonder what would happen.

I assume you'd get some interesting but horrible houses, some interesting but nice houses, some conventional but horrible houses and some conventional but nice houses...

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ok, here's a scenario.

The government set out a new town, with plots / groups of plots, and sell them off to bidders. Some arbitrary limit on the number any one developer can purchase.

The experiment: Allow ANY development to take place, as long as:

- It complies with building regulations;

- Some nominal restrictions with regards to residential / commercial development

Anything goes, design and build whatever house you like.

I wonder what would happen.

It has been done. The whole country was built like that, before 1947's Town and Country Planning Act.

Including most of London. Including most of London's suburbs, with very nice semi-detached houses.

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Here's a better idea:

make a law that every town can re-zone some new green land (maybe max. 10% of the current built-up area of the town) that will be bought by the council from the current farmland owners at agri-land prices and then resold at a reasonable price (maybe slightly below market rate) to individuals (not companies!) for the purpose of residential development for themselves to live in.

This will generate lots of new income for cash strapped councils, lower house prices (due to increased offer) and allow people to build and live in their own houses (designed to their own wishes) rather than cloned boxes.

This is normal in Germany, where people generally buy plots of land to build their own houses (not literally themselves, they let a construction company do it for them but based on their own ideas) rather than let housebuilders build rows of ugly cloned box houses that all look the same and leave no space to individual needs.

Edited by wise_eagle

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Here's a better idea:

make a law that every town can re-zone some new green land (maybe max. 10% of the current built-up area of the town) that will be bought by the council from the current farm owners at agri-land prices and then resold at a reasonable price (maybe slightly below market rate) to individuals (not companies!) for the purpose of residential development for themselves to live in.

This is normal in Germany, where people generally buy plots of land to build their own houses (not literally themselves, they let a construction company do it for them but based on their own ideas) rather than let housebuilders build rows of ugly cloned box houses that all look the same and leave no space to individual needs.

+ 1

In many countries the local authorities do exactly that: Buy land at agricultural prices, build roads, demarcate and service plots, and sell to individuals.

They can even auction these plots. When many local authorities do the same, the large supply of plots ensures that prices are kept low, like in Germany.

.

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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ok, here's a scenario.

The government set out a new town, with plots / groups of plots, and sell them off to bidders. Some arbitrary limit on the number any one developer can purchase.

The experiment: Allow ANY development to take place, as long as:

- It complies with building regulations;

- Some nominal restrictions with regards to residential / commercial development

Anything goes, design and build whatever house you like.

I wonder what would happen.

Isn't that more or less what happened on the US frontier and British colonies in the 1800s?

Some of those old towns, those the 20th century largely passed by, look quite pleasing to the modern eye. Certainly a lot prettier than huge, mass-produced developments and out of town malls

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Isn't that more or less what happened on the US frontier and British colonies in the 1800s?

Some of those old towns, those the 20th century largely passed by, look quite pleasing to the modern eye. Certainly a lot prettier than huge, mass-produced developments and out of town malls

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=159988&view=findpost&p=2904530

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+ 1

In many countries the local authorities do exactly that: Buy land at agricultural prices, build roads, demarcates and services plots, and sell to individuals.

North of Christchurch, NZ, there's a development called Pegasus laid out along those lines which came onto the market shortly before the NZ housing market topped out

Quite a few people were buying individual sections for speculative purposes, with no intention of building themselves, and got caught short when the market turned on them. Trademe (Ebay) was full of unwanted sections a while back

The last time I visited a year or so ago the place was a wasteland of empty sections and partially completed self-builds. The developers had taken to putting up painted screens of what main street would look like if anyone ever built anything

- though I have just noticed that the developers are offering specials for earthquake victims, bless...

Mighty Pegasus

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It has been done. The whole country was built like that, before 1947's Town and Country Planning Act.

Including most of London. Including most of London's suburbs, with very nice semi-detached houses.

It's still going on in some areas of the US. Some cities have very loose "zoning" restrictions that allow you build pretty much what you want, where you want.

It's all good, until you have your house and someone wants to build a drive-in fast food place over the road.

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But weren't a lot of those suburban developments you refer to put together en masse by developers to standardised designs?

There was a lot less of that sort of thing out in the colonies and the self-build tradition is still more ingrained than back in Mother England

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Quite a few people were buying individual sections for speculative purposes, with no intention of building themselves, and got caught short when the market turned on them. Trademe (Ebay) was full of unwanted sections a while back

There is a simple solution to that, the council adds a clause in the sales contract obliging the buyer to build within 3-5 years of the sale (otherwise you have to pay a major contractual penalty). This is common practice in Germany, Switzerland and surely other countries.

Also once this zoning of new land is common practice, the speculation will end quickly since there are no profits to be made when the supply is plentyful.

Edited by wise_eagle

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I assume you'd get some interesting but horrible houses, some interesting but nice houses, some conventional but horrible houses and some conventional but nice houses...

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.....and the beholders budget. ;)

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There is a simple solution to that, the council adds a clause in the sales contract obliging the vendor to build within 3-5 years of the sale (otherwise you have to pay a major contractual penalty). This is common practice in Germany, Switzerland and surely other countries.

That might also be the case in the NZ development I'm talking about. It might explain some of the relatively low asking prices I was seeing last year

There are still heaps of '2nd hand' sections available though

including, I note, one with an 'excellent Feng Shui aspect', presumably for the Asian market

mind you having the nearest large conurbation being recently flattened by a surprise tectonic fault, which presumably isn't going away, might do wonders for property not parked on top of the fault

Edited by Charlton Peston

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North of Christchurch, NZ, there's a development called Pegasus laid out along those lines which came onto the market shortly before the NZ housing market topped out

Quite a few people were buying individual sections for speculative purposes, with no intention of building themselves, and got caught short when the market turned on them. Trademe (Ebay) was full of unwanted sections a while back

The last time I visited a year or so ago the place was a wasteland of empty sections and partially completed self-builds. The developers had taken to putting up painted screens of what main street would look like if anyone ever built anything

- though I have just noticed that the developers are offering specials for earthquake victims, bless...

Mighty Pegasus

That has to do with the bubble bursting, not with self builders or not.

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But weren't a lot of those suburban developments you refer to put together en masse by developers to standardised designs?

There was a lot less of that sort of thing out in the colonies and the self-build tradition is still more ingrained than back in Mother England

Sure. I agree.

I was referring more to planning restrictions than to who builds what. If you have more good plots available, housing quality will go up, and prices down.

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That has to do with the bubble bursting, not with self builders or not.

Absolutely

though a couple of people I spoke with saw buying a section as being a lower cost, lower maintenance, potentially higher-returning way of playing the property game rather than buying an actual house

Edited by Charlton Peston

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It's still going on in some areas of the US. Some cities have very loose "zoning" restrictions that allow you build pretty much what you want, where you want.

It's all good, until you have your house and someone wants to build a drive-in fast food place over the road.

I would only buy in a residential-only zone. Very common, in most countries.

Britain is just bonkers in this planning issue. Completely stupid, and really insane. Only people who never lived abroad can't see that.

Our planning blockage (worsening since the mid-40s), is a huge self-inflicted rationing of shelter!. . :blink:

How imbecilic is that?!

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I would only buy in a residential-only zone. Very common, in most countries.

Britain is just bonkers in this planning issue. Completely stupid, and really insane. Only people who never lived abroad can't see that.

Our planning blockage (worsening since the mid-40s), is a huge self-inflicted rationing of shelter!. . :blink:

How imbecilic is that?!

It's a consequence of the still existing feudal land ownership system, the use of the word "LANDLORD" reflects that too.

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Here's a better idea:

make a law that every town can re-zone some new green land (maybe max. 10% of the current built-up area of the town) that will be bought by the council from the current farmland owners at agri-land prices and then resold at a reasonable price (maybe slightly below market rate) to individuals (not companies!) for the purpose of residential development for themselves to live in.

This will generate lots of new income for cash strapped councils, lower house prices (due to increased offer) and allow people to build and live in their own houses (designed to their own wishes) rather than cloned boxes.

This is normal in Germany, where people generally buy plots of land to build their own houses (not literally themselves, they let a construction company do it for them but based on their own ideas) rather than let housebuilders build rows of ugly cloned box houses that all look the same and leave no space to individual needs.

But they don't buy off the local council. They buy off the developer who will have zoned a percentage of his available land for self build.

And the reason that he does this is because he knows that it will sell at a premium because "self build" is yet another one of the things which gains tax breaks from the government that buying ready built doesn't, so there is huge demand for it

tim

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It's a consequence of the still existing feudal land ownership system, the use of the word "LANDLORD" reflects that too.

Exactly. The sheeple here still think and behave like feudal serfs, asking for housing from "m'Lords" - now replaced by "Councils", but it the same sh!t.

I wrote before that if an American government ever tried to impose a planning blockage on privately owned land as restrictive as ours, the citizens there (not "subjects", notice) would make full use of their second amendment.

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While I like this idea in principle, it may only be applicable to land rich countries. In overcrowded Britain, with insufficient agricultural land to feed the population, there is a potential nasty external cost to using up a significant amount of the food producing space left.

Remember in the boom times there were few voices questioning excessive mortgage lending, yet now everyone is wise in hindsight. Perhaps the UK already has enough houses, but just too many people?

.

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Exactly. The sheeple here still think and behave like feudal serfs, asking for housing from "m'Lords" - now replaced by "Councils", but it the same sh!t.

No, a large part of the problem is the land ownership system . not specifically the council, not specifically the planning , but the actual ownership system itself

How much land must a group own before they are effectively a council?

I wrote before that if an American government ever tried to impose a planning blockage on privately owned land as restrictive as ours, the citizens there (not "subjects", notice) would make full use of their second amendment.

Of course, anyone who doesn't happen to own any of this american land is totally and completely planning restricted either way

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While I like this idea in principle, it may only be applicable to land rich countries. In overcrowded Britain, with insufficient agricultural land to feed the population, there is a potential nasty external cost to using up a significant amount of the food producing space left.

In a country that's been subsidising arable land owners not to grow food?

Fire up Google Earth and take a peek at how much space there really is in this 'overcrowded' island

And whilst I personally don't care for urban sprawl, I doubt very much that the high cost and scarcity of building land has got anything whatsoever to do with a pressing need to maximise food production

edit: and if you'd like to see an illustration of that point, further up in this thread I've included a link to building sections for sale in New Zealand. They fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars in a country that's got a population density 1/15th of the UK. The price has got everything to do with neo-feudalism and nothing to do with alternative uses for the land

Edited by Charlton Peston

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Exactly. The sheeple here still think and behave like feudal serfs, asking for housing from "m'Lords" - now replaced by "Councils", but it the same sh!t.

I wrote before that if an American government ever tried to impose a planning blockage on privately owned land as restrictive as ours, the citizens there (not "subjects", notice) would make full use of their second amendment.

I'm not sure the US is always better. Many areas have strong zoning laws, and some home owners associations are almost fascist in attitude. The obvious difference is that there are places that cherish the freedoms we've long since given up, so people do have a choice.

.

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  • 284 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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