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Captain Tightwad

Telegraph - Five Things Theresa May Can Do To Solve Britain's Housing Crisis

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Telegraph - Five things Theresa May can do to solve Britain's housing crisis

Given that it's the Telegraph I didn't have high hopes for this, and the first 4 were the usual platitudes, but when I got to number 5 my heart skipped a beat:

Make houses harder to buy

Finally, Mrs May should abolish all demand-side subsidies for prospective first-time buyers, such as the Help to Buy and Starter Homes initiatives. By propping up purchasing power these are self-defeating, using taxpayers’ money to make housing more expensive for everybody.

Am I dreaming? Or is the cluestick finally being applied to the correct skulls? I thought all the hope had been beaten out of me over the last decade and a half, but if the govt has the nous to realize that a) things can't go on as they are and B) if they trigger a crash now they can blame it all on Brexit and maybe even get it all over with by the next election, then maybe, just maybe...

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Am I dreaming? Or is the cluestick finally being applied to the correct skulls?

The key to understanding the meeja is to understand that they rarely speak with a single voice. So for any policy they think their readers are interested in, they're likely to publish articles on both sides.

Media complaining about government inflating house prices goes back a long way. In the 1980s, government actually listened, and removed MIRAS. Unfortunately the implementation of that was clumsy and seems to have left today's politicians frightened of a house price correction.

I find it more interesting when they all sing from the same hymn sheet.

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So the article did not mention that for the past ten or so years the number of properties per thousand people has increased every year.

Interesting;do you have a source for that? Not doubting you, I'd just find it useful in discussions.

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The lack of rate cut was a promising sign; maybe someone had words with him. Not sure if he's likely to be fired, though; he was always very much Osborne's glove puppet, but I don't think the govt will want to spook the markets more than they have to.

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The lack of rate cut was a promising sign;

Not really. The talk of a cut was about calming market nerves, something he's done many times without having to follow through on whatever measure was proposed.

So long as markets can be steadied with words, why act?

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So the article did not mention that for the past ten or so years the number of properties per thousand people has increased every year. The 'crisis' is always one of 'not building' never one of price. The housing crisis is IMHO 90% price (ZIRP, HtB, FLS etc) and 10% due to not building where they are needed.

Problem is that even here we've had years of being distracted and divided by the plain truth, credit dictates housing cost, even in areas of high demand. We shout and rant about NIMBYs and demand 'build more please'. Instead of just saying houses are too expensive we use 'unaffordable'. How can builders produce housing that is unaffordable in the first place. What other industry could survive if it continued creating products that were 'unaffordable'.

We should learn a trick from Mark Carney, words and phraseology matter.

HOUSES ARE TOO EXPENSIVE.

Edited by Blod

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A programme of mass council house building would be good too. Tenants in the social and private rented sectors deserve more choice at a fair level of rent.

The Government and/or Local Authorities could threaten the land bankers with compulsary purchase orders and build council houses on those parcels of land if the house builders sit on the land for too long. The nearby NIMBYs will soon vent their spleens at the developers to hurry up and build, so pressure from all directions!

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That graph appears to show the number of dwellings per 1000 people dropping since about 2008.

It also assumes that the population figures used by the ONS are accurate in the recent years of mass immigration (since say 1997 when NuLabout first got into power).

In any even the props and levels of credit are the main problems for crazy house prices. Apparently rich overseas buyers have also been propping up house prices at least in London.

Edited by billybong

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It also assumes that the population figures used by the ONS are accurate in the recent years of mass immigration (since say 1997 when NuLabout first got into power).

As someone who (currently) lives in an immigrant hotspot, I can tell you that official numbers must be WAY OFF, and the only real way to get an indication of real numbers - when they don't even count the numbers coming in from sea ports - is aggregate water usage and/or food consumption.

Here's a 9 year old article from the Independent that put the UK population at somewhere between 77 to 80M - NINE YEARS AGO. What's the official stat? 65M? LOL.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/comment/city-eye-facts-on-a-plate-our-population-is-at-least-77-million-5328454.html

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Why did prices rise so much from 2000 to 2008 when the # of dwelling per 000 was rising?

In part a correction from historic lows ... in part a shift of personal assets after pension pots got taxed ... and of course bubble-sentiment backed by reckless lending that dominated from about 2002 or 2003 ...

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So the article did not mention that for the past ten or so years the number of properties per thousand people has increased every year. The 'crisis' is always one of 'not building' never one of price. The housing crisis is IMHO 90% price (ZIRP, HtB, FLS etc) and 10% due to not building where they are needed.

There is a really strange (probably deliberate) disconnect between politicians who talk about "increasing supply" to solve the housing "crisis", but who won't ever mention that house prices are too high. If (as they believe - many don't) it is a supply problem that is pushing house prices up, and if the "crisis" is that house prices are too expensive, then lower house prices is the natural consequence of increasing supply. In fact we don't have a "shortage" of houses in any case - if you walk into any estate agents, the shelves are not empty, and you can buy a house right now if you are able and willing to spend the money. But very few (no?) politicians seem willing to go on the record to say that house prices are too high, and need to come down.

As for the article - this is precisely right. In fact, you can skip points 1-4 and just implement this. The real tragedy IMO is that house prices were correcting nicely after the GFC, and it was this goverment interference that stopped that.

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As someone who (currently) lives in an immigrant hotspot, I can tell you that official numbers must be WAY OFF, and the only real way to get an indication of real numbers - when they don't even count the numbers coming in from sea ports - is aggregate water usage and/or food consumption.

Here's a 9 year old article from the Independent that put the UK population at somewhere between 77 to 80M - NINE YEARS AGO. What's the official stat? 65M? LOL.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/comment/city-eye-facts-on-a-plate-our-population-is-at-least-77-million-5328454.html

I am tempted to agree.

The ONS estimate immigration numbers using people with clipboards at airports doing surveys which is then projected to produce the total supposed level. Anyone who says they are planning to move here for less than one year isn't even counted as they are deemed a short term migrant - and of course anyone who has just come through immigration is going to be honest and say they will return home within a few weeks or months. We also don't collect data on departure so have no real idea who is leaving either. They do back this up with stats like GP registrations but how many people register with GPs if they aren't legal - they go to casualty,

The ONS all of a sudden found post the 2011 census Newham's population - the place with the lowest white British population in the UK - was underestimated by nearly a third or a massive 70000 people in just one borough. All of a sudden they just added 70000 people to its population.

http://www.newhamrecorder.co.uk/news/politics/finally_revealed_true_size_of_newham_s_population_1_2180076

The figures are at best an extrapolation and omit a huge proportion of arrivals - at worst they are a total joke.

Edited by MARTINX9

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