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It's Simple...we Have To Build

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Why do we make it so complicated on this forum?

There's about a 40 million adults in this country and about 25 million properties (many of those properties are unfortunately in the wrong places, far from jobs).

The great majority of those adults want to own an attractive and reasonably spacious house in a decent area which is close to their work and to their families. Net result, houses are rationed and price arbitrates who gets which property. Everyone's in a fight to climb as far as possible up that 25 million home ladder. The winners get the Georgian rectory in a pleasant home counties market town, or the cool loft apartment close to a tube station. The rest of us get what we can.

The situation is clouded slightly by credit. Low interest rates and easy access to credit pulls more adults into the fight, and allows those with less capital to bid up the prices for everyone else. But low interest rates and easy credit have been around for the best part of a generation, and personally I don't see that changing anytime soon. However, even if that did change, and interest rates climbed up to double digits, then it would only benefit the cash rich. Everyone else would have their noses pressed to the sweet shop window, watching prices drop but unable to take advantage of it.

The best way to bring house prices down, keep them down, and make better quality homes available for more people, is simply to build more houses.

We managed to build over 300,000 homes a year in the 1930's, much of it on greenfield land. Now, with a much bigger population, we're averaging less than 100,000 homes a year.

It's no co-incidence that the countries that saw a real house price crash, like Ireland, Spain, and the USA, had seen huge building booms immediately before the financial crisis. Where as Britain was strangled by NIMBY regulations and green belt restrictions which meant we haven't seen any meaningful price falls in the areas where the jobs are, chiefly London and the South East.

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And what do we do with the estimated 1m empty properties?

Aren't most of them up North?

Bit of a problem being as all the jobs are down South.

But yeah, the original poster is spot on.

Build, build, build.

Let the state lead the way in terms of big new developments in and around London, make it easier for folks to build themselves, and if the private developers still choose to sit on their parcels of land and price fix let them die for doing so.

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And what do we do with the estimated 1m empty properties?

Most of that million is frictional e.g. properties in probate. Unless you're going to make it law that granny's house must be sold at the instant she kicks the bucket, you're always going to have a certain amount of that.

The "million empty houses" NIMBY meme reminds me of "let's build on brownfield first". In an area of land as big and complicated as the UK, there are always going to be a certain number of empty houses and disused industrial sites. It's a part of economic and demographic change, and change is inevitable. If you say that not one house can be built on green fields until there are no empty houses and no disused industrial sites, that is practically equivalent to declaring that not one house can be built on green fields ever because in the real world those conditions will never be met.

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problem is that it is a positive feeback loop.

Building helps the economy, jobs etc.

But if you build more houses that devalues the houses that currently exist, puts people who own houses financially worse off and risks sending banks into a tailspin.

The irony being of course the longer the building is held off, the greater the crash that will happen when building finally takes place.

There isn't really a happy ending here, but my guess is that building will have to happen eventually, because its one of the few things Britain has going for it (a demand for property that exceeds supply, or at least the available supply).

My guess is that things are going to have to get a lot worse yet before the government presses the build button and I think it will have to go hand in hand with some sort of re-nationalisation of housing.

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Do such properties actually exist?

Well at least some do. Only opposite us the ex-neighbours have left their house empty after moving to a larger one about half a mile away. They're planning to rent it out I believe but it's been months sitting there empty with them occasionally visiting to do I don't know what - dust probably. How they can afford it I don't know but what I do know is that the current situation stinks where people would rather become landlords than sell their house. Totally dysfunctional market.

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Most of that million is frictional e.g. properties in probate. Unless you're going to make it law that granny's house must be sold at the instant she kicks the bucket, you're always going to have a certain amount of that.

The "million empty houses" NIMBY meme reminds me of "let's build on brownfield first". In an area of land as big and complicated as the UK, there are always going to be a certain number of empty houses and disused industrial sites. It's a part of economic and demographic change, and change is inevitable. If you say that not one house can be built on green fields until there are no empty houses and no disused industrial sites, that is practically equivalent to declaring that not one house can be built on green fields ever because in the real world those conditions will never be met.

The bottom line is that just because a house is empty does not mean it is available or in a condition to house people.

If the nimbys were serious about this line of argument then they should propose some method of how this housing can be better utilised, rather than just claiming it exists. A property tax of course could be the answer. I'm sure the nimbys would love this.

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Why do we make it so complicated on this forum?

There's about a 40 million adults in this country and about 25 million properties (many of those properties are unfortunately in the wrong places, far from jobs).

I agree, however, in this global experiment can I suggest we build then in Poland and Bulgaria.....

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Why do we make it so complicated on this forum?

There's about a 40 million adults in this country and about 25 million properties (many of those properties are unfortunately in the wrong places, far from jobs).

The great majority of those adults want to own an attractive and reasonably spacious house in a decent area which is close to their work and to their families. Net result, houses are rationed and price arbitrates who gets which property. Everyone's in a fight to climb as far as possible up that 25 million home ladder. The winners get the Georgian rectory in a pleasant home counties market town, or the cool loft apartment close to a tube station. The rest of us get what we can.

The situation is clouded slightly by credit. Low interest rates and easy access to credit pulls more adults into the fight, and allows those with less capital to bid up the prices for everyone else. But low interest rates and easy credit have been around for the best part of a generation, and personally I don't see that changing anytime soon. However, even if that did change, and interest rates climbed up to double digits, then it would only benefit the cash rich. Everyone else would have their noses pressed to the sweet shop window, watching prices drop but unable to take advantage of it.

The best way to bring house prices down, keep them down, and make better quality homes available for more people, is simply to build more houses.

We managed to build over 300,000 homes a year in the 1930's, much of it on greenfield land. Now, with a much bigger population, we're averaging less than 100,000 homes a year.

It's no co-incidence that the countries that saw a real house price crash, like Ireland, Spain, and the USA, had seen huge building booms immediately before the financial crisis. Where as Britain was strangled by NIMBY regulations and green belt restrictions which meant we haven't seen any meaningful price falls in the areas where the jobs are, chiefly London and the South East.

No complaints from me.

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There is only planning permission for 400 000 homes.

We need 2 million plots with planning permission to allow us to increase the amount we build each year to around 400 000.

On top of that we should be constructing 5 million new council houses over a ten year period if you ask me.

A 3 bedroom house each for every UK citizen.

Businesses are born in spare bedrooms.

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There's about a 40 million adults in this country and about 25 million properties (many of those properties are unfortunately in the wrong places, far from jobs). .

...

The best way to bring house prices down, keep them down, and make better quality homes available for more people, is simply to build more houses.

40 million adults, but that only makes slightly under 25 million households. Some of them do actually still live togther.

Building homes does not reduce prices. If anything, excessive building probably correlates with excessive prices (i.e. bubbles). i accept though, that over the long term, many decades or even centuries, it should begin to havea an effect, if you can wait that long.

Why has the hpc meme changed from the "who is going to live in all those empty two bed flats" from when I used to be here a couple of years ago, to "we must build more houses" ?

I haven't exactly got my ear to the grindstone, or whatever, but I suspect that there are a lot more empty properties than there were ten years ago.

Raise interest rates and it will all sort itself out a lot quicker. People will find they didn't really want to live in such a big house, or to own so many houses, as they previously thought.

Edited by BigPig

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Why has the hpc meme changed from the "who is going to live in all those empty two bed flats" from when I used to be here a couple of years ago, to "we must build more houses" ?

There is an oversupply of (new build) flats in northern cities and an undersupply of family homes in London/SE.

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And what do we do with the estimated 1m empty properties?

That is a myth.

"According to DCLG there were 737,491 vacant properties in Oct 2010. But many of these are not long term vacant. In fact, only 300,526 of these properties had been vacant for more than 6 months."

And how many in the SE:

"34,422 in London, 34,279 in the South East (25, 597 in the East of England)."

http://spatial-economics.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/empty-homes-and-housing-crisis.html

So, less than 100k in the London/SE/E. Out of how many? 4 or 5 million? Say around 2% of all properties? Many of these properties will be for sale, or being refurbished, owner died, etc.

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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I say sort out housing benefit first, not everyone can expect to purchase a house - but they should be able to afford to rent. Let the market find the right price, not artificially push it up - that's what needs doing first.

Then council house building...

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We do need more homes....but not dotted here and there, we need new towns, new communities with good transport links, schools and hospitals.....but most of all we need new jobs and work to enable the people to buy the new homes....new enterprise zones, giving tax breaks to innovative companies to employ local people and people moving to the area to live and work.....we do not want a bottom heavy London and the south east.......you don't get that in other European countries like Germany for example....industry is spread evenly around several of their major cities.....people do not have to be all bunched up in one highly dense area where there is little green space, gridlock on the roads, a shortage of good school places and a wait to see a doctor. ;)

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http://propertydrum.briefyourmarket.com/Newsletters/JUNGLEdrum-The-newsbeat-from-PROPERTYdrum-17/-Bring-empty-homes-back-to-life-says-BPF.aspx

There are currently 762,000 empty homes in England and close to 1m in the UK, according to figures released by the independent charity Empty Homes.

Meanwhile, there are 450,000 fewer social homes than a decade ago and 1.7m families languishing on housing waiting lists, the agency said.

http://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/2012/jan/27/live-discussion-empty-homes

Estimates of the amount of empty homes in England vary from 737,491 up to one million. With more than two million families on social housing waiting lists there is an urgent need to find new to accommodation as the country's housing crisis bites.

Nearly a million buy-to-let properties are standing empty

The credit crisis is set to take the number of vacant properties in the UK past 1m next year

This figure of up to 1m has been stated for 4 or 5 years.

Surely there are accurate stats at the local council offices about what properties are empty and for how long they remain so if in probate?

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Do we need more houses or less people ?

There must be a reason despite the massive population growth we have seen there is not enough money to keep services up, schools at a decent level and the NHS working.

Perhaps a better solution than trying to grow forever.

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Where are the hundreds of thousands, or is it millions, who need these homes currently living?

Romania

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Where are the hundreds of thousands, or is it millions, who need these homes currently living?

Five of my old school friends are still living in their childhood bedroom at the age of 30. All but one of them have full time jobs and have worked continuously for about a decade. They earn NMW so would struggle to rent a single room in a shared house in the area (southern England).

Also many areas of London are now full of 2 or 3 storey family homes split into seriously compromised flats.

I don't know about the rest of the country, but there are many hidden households in the south of England.

Edited by Dorkins

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Five of my old school friends are still living in their childhood bedroom at the age of 30. All but one of them have full time jobs and have worked continuously for about a decade. They earn NMW so would struggle to rent a single room in a shared house in the area (southern England).

Also many areas of London are now full of 2 or 3 storey family homes split into seriously compromised flats.

I don't know about the rest of the country, but there are many hidden households in the south of England.

Same bedroom? That adds an even stranger twist.

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