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Bbc - "why Can't The Uk Build 240,000 Houses A Year?"


kev-all-in
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Although I'm in favour of a small state, I do think there has to be some planning control.

I lived in India for a while where there's effectively no planning restrictions. The house I lived in had beautiful views over a Himalayan valley.

I say had, because a few years after it was built someone came along and built another house right in front of it, leaving about 2' of space and a brick wall in front of the beautiful view!

My point is that existing laws in the UK allow 1. the erection of structures in gardens, 2. tax breaks for renting out a spare room to lodgers, but if you try to put a lodger in a structure in the garden, you need planning permission. Crazy!

Although I'm in favour of a small state, I do think there has to be some planning control.

I lived in India for a while where there's effectively no planning restrictions. The house I lived in had beautiful views over a Himalayan valley.

I say had, because a few years after it was built someone came along and built another house right in front of it, leaving about 2' of space and a brick wall in front of the beautiful view!

My point is that existing laws in the UK allow 1. the erection of structures in gardens, 2. tax breaks for renting out a spare room to lodgers, but if you try to put a lodger in a structure in the garden, you need planning permission. Crazy!

If you love the view that much, you could have bought the offending house and knocked it down. The fact that you didn't shows that your neighbour values the land more than you value the view.

Resources gravitate to their most productive uses.

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So people don't want more houses built, and they aren't getting built. Sounds perfectly reasonable. Put the blame on those adding to the population and hence the need for more housing. Only if it's the same people doing both then complain about them. This idea that you can make something a bit less pleasant for them and get worked up when they're not happy about that is weird.

I know people who are very anti any immigration controls and were very anti new homes near them because - of congestion etc.

Fortunately their protests were ignored by the local councils. Ideally any immigration controls would be linked to the number of houses that people want built in the UK. I.e. when people vote in local elections they choose how many houses they want built in their ward and the aggregate number would be used for immigration controls - true local democracy so it will never happen.

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I know people who are very anti any immigration controls and were very anti new homes near them because - of congestion etc.

Fortunately their protests were ignored by the local councils. Ideally any immigration controls would be linked to the number of houses that people want built in the UK. I.e. when people vote in local elections they choose how many houses they want built in their ward and the aggregate number would be used for immigration controls - true local democracy so it will never happen.

That would make far too much sense to happen alas. Are we talking about the same people who want huge tax cuts and massive public sector spending?
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It's because it's an insane idea allowing people to live in substandard sheds.

To add an extra bedroom via an extension means building regs, and generally ensuring the provision of a parking spaces.

To clarify - I should have mentioned that the 'sheds' should be subject to planning permission and building regulations, or should be temporary accommodation (such as static caravans) subject to certain restrictions. I was pointing out that the system at present is unfair because there is nothing to stop you renting out spare rooms in your house to people - in fact it is even encouraged through tax breaks - but the law makes it very difficult for you to create a separate dwelling on your own land, even though lots of parents would love to be able to do this for their adult children.

Parking spaces should be nothing to do with it - if a family with one car lets out its spare bedroom to a lodger who also owns a car, the council planners don't have any say in whether there's sufficient parking for him or her, so why should they if a small studio flat is created in a garden?

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So people don't want more houses built, and they aren't getting built. Sounds perfectly reasonable. Put the blame on those adding to the population and hence the need for more housing. Only if it's the same people doing both then complain about them. This idea that you can make something a bit less pleasant for them and get worked up when they're not happy about that is weird.

Some people don't want more houses built and they are generally those that already have (nice, big) houses. It is 'I'm alright Jack' NIMBYism and it's evil.

Furthermore, the whole frozen 20th century model of planning/development is entirely artificial and faulty.

Because of changes in demand/opportunity, Sheffield grew from a town of 60,000 into a city of half a million in the 19th century. Where is that kind of development now?

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No, it is not evil. You want to change something where people live, you persuade them that it's a good idea. They're not the ones pushing up the demand (unless they've had lots of kids).

If you say "No more population growth, but we need to build more anyway to get it up to an adequate standard for all, then no more (although there will be a continuing change of some getting demolished and others built as demand shifts)" then fine, that's somewhat reasonable, but if your plan is to just keep turning everywhere into an ever-larger soulless identikit town where there was once something worth having then I've no sympathy whatsoever.

Thank heavens that degree of development isn't happening now. Why on earth would you want places getting that much bigger at that rate?

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No, it is not evil. You want to change something where people live, you persuade them that it's a good idea. They're not the ones pushing up the demand (unless they've had lots of kids).

The people that already live somewhere, got their current houses because someone built there in the past. Why was building in the past OK, but not building now?

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Never. Houses are not everlasting, and under-occupation is increasing. Could you answer my question?

Not everlasting is irrelevent. It's roughly speaking the increase I'm on about. So take that into account and answer my question. Do you have a problem with a continually increasing number of houses?
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If you think my question was answered then you misunderstood it, I thought from the general context of the discussion that increase rather than replacement was what we were talking about.

I fail to see why naming a specific time has any bearing on the general principles, which is why I have not answered yours. It seems clear that you can't even see the issue; I wish I could say that that's astonishing but I'm depressingly unsurprised.

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Not everlasting is irrelevent. It's roughly speaking the increase I'm on about. So take that into account and answer my question. Do you have a problem with a continually increasing number of houses?

Yes, because I'm in favour of a stabilised population, with fairly stable demographics. We are not there yet though.

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Nice ad hom. I am not in favour of ever increasing population, but demographic trends are leading to decreasing occupancy rates and where we need houses in future is not necessarily where they were needed in the past. You can't just freeze things.

Not an ad hom, just how it seemed to me, apologies for reading it the wrong way. I agree with you when it comes to not freezing and where they're needed moving. Edited by Riedquat
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Yes, because I'm in favour of a stabilised population, with fairly stable demographics. We are not there yet though.

Fair enough. I'll answer then, ideally I'd like to go back to the numbers no later than sometime in the middle of the 19th century. However that's not going to happen, so get things stabilised (the goal should be for that ASAP since IMO we're already well past what's ideal) and build to properly accommodate that stabilised level, changing over time where appropriate. The reason I get so uppity is that the stabilising part doesn't seem like happening so all I can see is a continuation in a direction I don't like the look of.
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Need HPC first. They're not building in big volume because they need HTB help buyers meet overinflated prices, and trickle that supply in. And other newbuilds going to global investors chasing yield and looking to get their money out of other regimes.

I would love to self-build, but without allowing HPC first, building plot asking prices, when they rarely come onto market, have crazy inflated to new peaks asking prices. In many instances asking more than fine existing build houses in the general area. Sellers under no real pressure to sell for 'less than it's worth' in ponzi market.

Buy-To-Let Boom: One In Five Homes Now Owned By Landlords
in House prices and the economy
Started by Scunnered, 22 Oct 2014

brainclamp posted share-token to view premium subscription Times article

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/life/property/article4311161.ece?shareToken=15b2410d946d0a35bf4bb875d204d1d6

Departmental figures show that the vast majority of new housing in the UK since the turn of the millennium has been bought by landlords. Between 2000 and 2012, the private rented sector has accounted for some 2.5 million of the extra homes. Only 400,000 have been bought by occupiers.

Of 2.9m new homes built since 2000, 2.5m (i.e.86%) bought by landlords, 400k by owner-occupiers as home ownership plunges to lowest since 1988.

Munro

Building more housing will help the economy; in the short term it's another sugar rush. There are perfectly good reasons to think that another short term sugar rush of over-investment in non-productive capital is bad for the economy. Houses don't provide employment, businesses do, businesses that make useful things or provide services that are in demand. Putting more money into housing is just more malinvestment. There are good reasons to argue that a housing boom is bad for the economy.

My point is that if you try and crash house prices by a construction boom, you will extend the stupid credit boom we've had for a few more years while it goes on. Then there will be an almighty crash and the houses built will be white elephants.

More borrowing; you talk of credit-worthy households. There are apparently credit-worthy households, but if money was priced properly and taking account of the need for banks to repay SLS money and meet capital requirements, the banking sector as a whole is insolvent. They need to be calling in loans that they can get paid out on, not lending more money. And households that are credit-worthy now may not be in six months' time if activity in the economy falls as cuts are imposed. Apparent credit-worthiness is also underpinned by government-backed guarantees in the form of deficit spending. What happens to the notion of "affordable debt" when it's backed by an asset whose price is rigged by a Ponzi scam and money printing?

I agree with you that lower house prices would be good for the country, for much the same reasons. I disagree with you on how to do this. I think we should radically cut back the supply of credit and tax btlers out of "business", so that housing stock can be liberated for owner-occupiers. The fall-out from the banks can be dealt with as and when. People in NE will just have to lump it until the prices come back eventually, as they did in the late 1990s. I don't like special pleading as that's what we get out of btlers claiming that they are "providing housing" for people who "prefer to rent for the flexibility". If the sort of land-grab you are asking for is permitted in 2010, there'll be a website in 2020 with a bunch of angry people moaning about the "selfish people" who got away with it back then leaving them stuck in ex-btl slaveboxes as it's all they can afford.

Of course there is demand for housing in the SE. It's because interest rates are so low. The demand would evaporate if interest rates were raised. And if that demand was genuinely based on need, we'd have seen rents rise in line with house prices. They haven't. They are certainly high, but not in proportion to house prices. Ergo, the demand is based on speculation, not on need, and speculation is fuelled by cheap money. So the demand for housing argument fails. And when the cheap money dries up we could be left in the Irish situation of ghost towns, because people don't have the money to buy this new housing and the banks can't lend, because the government want the SLS money back and banks have to rebuild their capital base to meet BASLE2 regulations.

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Someone else's response (former hpc poster) - worth a read:

http://markwadsworth.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/why-cant-uk-build-240000-houses-year.html

mm.....

If only we "rightsized" car capacity to demand. Avg. occupancy is 1.n people per car. Most cars have capacity for 4/5 people. So all we need to do is incentivise 1 person households onto motorbikes or 2 seat sports cars max etc etc.......

Ditto with televisions. Why doesn't everyone crowd around 1 telly in the parlour?........and so on.

Re houses, it's kinda being tried with the bedroom tax. Not working too well from what I read.

Agree re state - just build 1m (or whatever) houses. Sorted. £100bn. Peanuts (£385bn QE). This is so simple it's bl**din' ridiculous even debating it any more.

Edited by R K
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