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


kev-all-in
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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.

For context, didn't say it was any perfect response, but do you think the car analogy fits? Although more efficient car use esp commutes wouldn't be a bad idea. Gist is it's a price problem, then any ideal supply problem.

Not sure bedroom tax analogy works either. I don't have a particular problem with the thinking behind the bedroom tax, the issue again is that existing demand-side subsidies and incentives preclude incentives to address the problems for tenants. Leaving a scenario where a council tenant may be working to pay taxes that are then funnelled into landlord's/ha income tax offsets and capital gains, thus screwing themselves over and less able to get out of the very scenario they're often pilloried for and better determine their own futures. A convenient for some forced loop which is a political and fiscal choice, not a broadly working model for housing. Any housing.

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From the OP's bbc link.


For decades after World War Two the UK used to build more than 300,000 new homes a year. Recently it's managed about half that.

It's been well less than half that but it just possible it picked up a bit towards the end of 2014 - with the general election in the offing.




http://

www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-2629141/Number-houses-built-England-increases-31-year.html

15 May 2014

  • 133,650 houses are currently in the process of being built
  • Number of homes completed in last 12 months hits 112,63

https://

www.gov.uk/government/statistics/house-building-in-england-january-to-march-2014

annual housing starts totalled 133,650 in the 12 months to March 2014, up by 31% compared with the year before; annual housing completions in England totalled 112,630 in the 12 months to March 2014, an increase of 4% compared with the previous 12 months

Edited by billybong
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For context, didn't say it was any perfect response, but do you think the car analogy fits? Although more efficient car use esp commutes wouldn't be a bad idea. Gist is it's a price problem, then any ideal supply problem.

Not sure bedroom tax analogy works either. I don't have a particular problem with the thinking behind the bedroom tax, the issue again is that existing demand-side subsidies and incentives preclude incentives to address the problems for tenants. Leaving a scenario where a council tenant may be working to pay taxes that are then funnelled into landlord's/ha income tax offsets and capital gains, thus screwing themselves over and less able to get out of the very scenario they're often pilloried for and better determine their own futures. A convenient for some forced loop which is a political and fiscal choice, not a broadly working model for housing. Any housing.

It wasnt a criticism of your post NS. I simply don't share this rather idealistic notion that 62m people ought to be neatly shoe-horned into 1 person per bedroom, or 1 bedroom per couple etc etc. any more than I think there's much point in trying to ensure road capacity is exactly matched to 4 occupants per vehicle or 100% capacity on every bus all day long or muck about with prices until it is. Absolutely fits. What's the difference? Why build more roads or sell more cars if you could change price incentives to ensure every seat is occupied? Force that nice Mr Sugar to take 5 people to work every day in his roller. Why not?

By "price problem" do you mean consumption cost of housing? 'Cause that's actually quite low relative to incomes as I'm sure you're aware, as distinct from "house prices".

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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.

Yeah well if they did that the financial system and rest of the economy would implode.

Of course this is the only way out though.

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It wasnt a criticism of your post NS. I simply don't share this rather idealistic notion that 62m people ought to be neatly shoe-horned into 1 person per bedroom, or 1 bedroom per couple etc etc. any more than I think there's much point in trying to ensure road capacity is exactly matched to 4 occupants per vehicle or 100% capacity on every bus all day long or muck about with prices until it is. Absolutely fits. What's the difference? Why build more roads or sell more cars if you could change price incentives to ensure every seat is occupied? Force that nice Mr Sugar to take 5 people to work every day in his roller. Why not?

By "price problem" do you mean consumption cost of housing? 'Cause that's actually quite low relative to incomes as I'm sure you're aware, as distinct from "house prices".

I meant the relative drivers of house prices in our economy, not the relative value vs anything else. Elasticities, dynamics etc that I've bleated about before. Zero will be achieved by assessing our housing issues as a supply problem because any private market doesn't work like that and the government's not going to upturn things quickly through choice. I don't share the simplistic notion either, believe it was just making an observation in net terms. Cars - I'll just leave that. When you talk about consumption costs of housing you're correct, but I'm bothered by the effects of social stratification and prostration - real or otherwise if that's how it's interpreted.

My response was more a reflection of my own frustration than anything else. While we plod towards rentierist state max and later change with few bothering to even think about why, it's quite tempting in the interim to just buy another house or two, let them out to our hardworking families and just sit on my parasitic @rse too. But for now I'm a still dreamer that shit can be got together, even if it happens or evolves rather than through any plan.

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So people don't want more houses built, and they aren't getting built. Sounds perfectly reasonable.

I don't want you to eat. I find the idea of other people eating unpleasant even though I eat every day. You, me, and my friend who agrees with me are going to hold a vote between the three of us on whether you should get any food. It's all going to be proper and democratic and perfectly reasonable.

People should be able to vote to impose any restrictions they want on others. The only good freedom is the freedom to do what the majority thinks you should be allowed to do. The fact that the majority of the population is being hypocritical and has experienced total empathy failure is neither here nor there. If the majority want it they should be given it. No cost to the minority is too high.

Edited by Dorkins
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I don't want you to eat. I find the idea of other people eating unpleasant even though I eat every day. You, me, and my friend who agrees with me are going to hold a vote between the three of us on whether you should get any food. It's all going to be proper and democratic and perfectly reasonable.

People should be able to vote to impose any restrictions they want on others. The only good freedom is the freedom to do what the majority thinks you should be allowed to do. The fact that the majority of the population is being hypocritical and has experienced total empathy failure is neither here nor there. If the majority want it they should be given it. No cost to the minority is too high.

If me eating had any effect on you whatsoever you'd have a point. When it comes to housing I don't really see a problem with not wanting yet more building and getting annoyed at the people popping out kids one after another or letting millions of extra people in to the country. Enough have said they don't want building, so stop the need for it; can't come up with any acceptable way of stopping people having kids but stopping immigration should be entirely possible. Your attack only has any validity if you take a very narrow view of the issue and are only considering that particular part of it, not the underlying causes.

I am firmly of the opinion that the current UK population levels are past the optimum point for maximum quality of life for most of the people in it, and sufficient decent housing to accommodate everyone leaves us with a rather less desirable country than sufficient decent housing to accommdate a smaller population, because of that level (compare with France, roughly the same population and twice the area, and the difference is very noticable). We're not going down so the best we can do is stop going up, and yes, we'll have to build a bit more too to manage what we've already got. Some posters on here don't seem to care less about that, up and up is fine for them if the building keeps going to accommodate that, an attitude that's beyond me.

Edited by Riedquat
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If me eating had any effect on you whatsoever you'd have a point. When it comes to housing I don't really see a problem with not wanting yet more building and getting annoyed at the people popping out kids one after another or letting millions of extra people in to the country. Enough have said they don't want building, so stop the need for it; can't come up with any acceptable way of stopping people having kids but stopping immigration should be entirely possible. Your attack only has any validity if you take a very narrow view of the issue and are only considering that particular part of it, not the underlying causes.

I am firmly of the opinion that the current UK population levels are past the optimum point for maximum quality of life for most of the people in it, and sufficient decent housing to accommodate everyone leaves us with a rather less desirable country than sufficient decent housing to accommdate a smaller population, because of that level (compare with France, roughly the same population and twice the area, and the difference is very noticable). We're not going down so the best we can do is stop going up, and yes, we'll have to build a bit more too to manage what we've already got. Some posters on here don't seem to care less about that, up and up is fine for them if the building keeps going to accommodate that, an attitude that's beyond me.

I think an important detail is lost in broad claims like "the UK population is past the optimum level". How much of the UK do you see every day? Most people live in a little bubble a few miles wide. If they don't like other people and want to live in low population density areas, the UK has plenty of those to choose from. In general the demand for new housing is adjacent to areas which are already populated e.g. the outskirts of London and other cities. So NIMBYs in those areas are not saying they don't like people, they're saying they like the convenience of living near a large town or city where there are lots of people to provide them with services and employment but they want their immediate vicinity to be low density. They want it all and are blocking people who have less from getting anything. It's an extremely selfish position.

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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?

(10&11 George VI c.51) Town and Country Planning Act, 1947, I think.

Basically stopped anybody just buying land and building on it, which was pretty much a free for all before the war.

The official reason was the entire south of England from London to Birmingham would be built on with Acacia Avenue type housing estates if restrictions were not put in place.

Cynics might say it was the powers that be realising that if every peasant could buy a little bit of freehold land and build a house on it, there'd soon be no wage slaves left.

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(10&11 George VI c.51) Town and Country Planning Act, 1947, I think.

Basically stopped anybody just buying land and building on it, which was pretty much a free for all before the war.

The official reason was the entire south of England from London to Birmingham would be built on with Acacia Avenue type housing estates if restrictions were not put in place.

Cynics might say it was the powers that be realising that if every peasant could buy a little bit of freehold land and build a house on it, there'd soon be no wage slaves left.

Well, quite. As I mentioned earlier in the thread, Sheffield went from 60,000 to nearly half a million in the 19th century, and I regard that as the nicest city I have lived in.

It's noteworthy that Labour brought in the 47 act and included a development charge to capture the value of granting planning permission, but the tories cancelled this when they got into power in the 50's. Labour introduce restictions, then the tories funnel the money to their chums. The red-blue two step.

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I think an important detail is lost in broad claims like "the UK population is past the optimum level". How much of the UK do you see every day? Most people live in a little bubble a few miles wide. If they don't like other people and want to live in low population density areas, the UK has plenty of those to choose from. In general the demand for new housing is adjacent to areas which are already populated e.g. the outskirts of London and other cities. So NIMBYs in those areas are not saying they don't like people, they're saying they like the convenience of living near a large town or city where there are lots of people to provide them with services and employment but they want their immediate vicinity to be low density. They want it all and are blocking people who have less from getting anything. It's an extremely selfish position.

The problem is that some people only look at a bubble a few miles wide. It makes a huge difference to how much there is within a much wider area. You could be in the middle of the North Pennines or the middle of the Peak District and the immediate surroundings are pretty well empty in both cases but the former is remote-ish, the latter not. Or compare France and England and tell me that the difference isn't noticable (and probably other countries but I've only any real experience with France). There aren't really that many genuinely quiet pleasant areas of the UK (well, England, Scotland has plenty). The nearest large city being 10 miles away instead of 100 makes a lot of difference. It's not just whether you're in a large city or not.

If a quieter, less heavily developed place is what an awful lot (perhaps the majority?) of people want then surely that's the direction we should be trying to head in, rather than the opposite.

Is it selfish to have somewhere nice to live and then have other people want to lessen that due to their, not your, irresponsibility? "Hey, we've bred like rabbits and let millions in, so you're wrong if you don't want us to pile in to your town". IMO those after a change are always the ones who have to make their case.

Oh, and there are some people who'll move in to somewhere, do whatever they want to it, then complain if anyone else does anything. Such people are selfish hypocrites.

Edited by Riedquat
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Is it selfish to have somewhere nice to live and then have other people want to lessen that due to their, not your, irresponsibility? "Hey, we've bred like rabbits and let millions in, so you're wrong if you don't want us to pile in to your town". IMO those after a change are always the ones who have to make their case.

Speak for yourself - I haven't had any kids.

Every person/houshold that wants to live in a given area is part of the demand for that area. That includes the people who already live there just as much as the prospective newcomers (and I am not talking amout immigrants).

NIMBY thinking reminds me sometimes of people sitting in traffic, one to each SUV, complaining about the traffic.

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Sounds like you're back to shifting demand there rather than overall increasing demand though. It's important to try to separate them out.

The very use of the word "NIMBY" to complain about anyone who doesn't want something to be built immediately sounds like you're trying to dismiss them, I want this built and anyone who doesn't is selfish! Often the mentality doesn't really look any better to me, particularly when it is so rarely applied to true NIMBYs ("don't care where you build it as long as it's not next to me").

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Sounds like you're back to shifting demand there rather than overall increasing demand though. It's important to try to separate them out.

The very use of the word "NIMBY" to complain about anyone who doesn't want something to be built immediately sounds like you're trying to dismiss them, I want this built and anyone who doesn't is selfish! Often the mentality doesn't really look any better to me, particularly when it is so rarely applied to true NIMBYs ("don't care where you build it as long as it's not next to me").

As a country we have two options.

Don't build, and end up with the next generation crammed into beds in sheds and in HMOs. This is already happening.

Build, and give everyone a decent standard of living.

Is there another option?

Even stopping immigration tomorrow won't fix the housing debt built up over twenty years. And yes, I do think that people who have nice houses (bought at times and prices that are unimaginable now, or even gifted to them by the taxpayer) are selfish, when they attempt to block other people from enjoying the same opportunities they did.

The housing crisis has dragged on too long for me to have any empathy left for people who have none for me.

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See previous posts - the only acceptable option to me is to stop population increase and build enough to accommodate what we've already got properly. The people I've got a problem with are the ones whose plan is "build, build, build" forever, and those who don't see any downside to more building instead of "I'd rather we didn't need it but we do", those who don't see that a less developed country (and corrspondingly lower population) wouldn't be a better one to live in.

So someone says "We need to build a million (or however many it is) more houses now", which is fair enough, but then a few more years down they're saying the same thing again, ad infinitum. If that wasn't happening then there would probably be rather less resistance.

A lot of apparent NIMBY's are actually BANANA's: Build absolutely nothing, anywhere near anything.

Conversely there are those who don't have an issue with "build anything anywhere."
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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?

Because you have added extra bedroom space.

Yes you could have adult children each with a car filling every room in the house. But planning don't have to make it worse by letting you have another bedroom.

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So someone says "We need to build a million (or however many it is) more houses now", which is fair enough, but then a few more years down they're saying the same thing again, ad infinitum. If that wasn't happening then there would probably be rather less resistance.

Yes, you have a point here.

I think our economic system is addicted to continual population growth, though.

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As a country we have two options.

Don't build, and end up with the next generation crammed into beds in sheds and in HMOs. This is already happening.

Build, and give everyone a decent standard of living.

How do you afford to give everyone a decent standard of living?

Globalisation means we all get poorer, not richer.

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Because you have added extra bedroom space.

Yes you could have adult children each with a car filling every room in the house. But planning don't have to make it worse by letting you have another bedroom.

I'm still not sure why the council sticks its oar into parking. If people can't find somewhere to park near their house, they will either have to do without a car or park it further away where there is space. First come first served and tough luck for everyone else, if you ask me. When did we start assuming that it's some sort of right to have one car per person in the UK, with our own spot on the Queen's highway to park it in?

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Don't build, and end up with the next generation crammed into beds in sheds and in HMOs. This is already happening.

Build, and give everyone a decent standard of living.

Is there another option?

There is one other option that seems to be overlooked and that is to build really good high density housing.

In most cities there are areas that have nice big old soundproof flats. Inner city parks, shops, restaurants etc all tightly packed together and the areas are hugely in demand.

New build high density only doesnt work when the builder throw up crap flats with damp problems and no sound proofing. There is no need for this as we knew how to build flats/areas 100 years ago and we should still be able to do it now.

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There is one other option that seems to be overlooked and that is to build really good high density housing.

In most cities there are areas that have nice big old soundproof flats. Inner city parks, shops, restaurants etc all tightly packed together and the areas are hugely in demand.

New build high density only doesnt work when the builder throw up crap flats with damp problems and no sound proofing. There is no need for this as we knew how to build flats/areas 100 years ago and we should still be able to do it now.

Bookmarked this thread to bump when real HPC takes hold, and totally changes viewpoints about lack of supply / too few houses. Too much demand for the specuvestors buying up houses competing with us, where supply will improve as prices crash and money becomes more valuable.

There is a bit of a building boom going on with new retirement villages, in density - private retirement apartments - secure, easy to maintain and heat, and often time, very good value some of them. Older downsizers freeing up houses/apartments in the commuter belt.

“You’ve only got to look at the demographics,” says Howard Phillips, chief executive of retirement developers McCarthy and Stone. “One third of all property in the UK is currently owned by people over 60. And during the next 25 years, the number of over-75s is going to increase by 95 per cent, while the number of over-85s is going to increase by 184 per cent.”

This means, of course, that for many people, their current home is going to get too big and unmanageable, thereby making downsizing an attractive option.

Just 0.5% of over-65s live in retirement villages in Britain, compared with 6% of elderly Americans (12% in some areas) and 5.5% of older New Zealanders. "The whole sector is still very much in its infancy [in the UK]," says Sanderson. But he believes retirement villages "will be the biggest thing in housing for the next 25 years."

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