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North London Rent Girl

Will Self on R4 - talking sense about the housing market

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Am just listening to Archive on 4 about the 1947 planning act and Will Self began with some sympathetic words about the horrible state of housing. And it is continuing to be interesting, well worth a listen.

Seventy Years in the Planning

Will Self walks the London green belt in search of the 1947 Town and Country Planning Act which optimistically tried to end the post-war British conflict between field and city. He retraces a countryside ramble he took with his father, the journalist, town planner and political scientist Peter Self - a leading exponent of the principles enshrined in the '47 Act. Will argues that the public consensus to build a New Jerusalem has been squandered in the past seventy years, leading to the present day housing crisis. He goes back to first principles and argues that the offer made in 1947 by the Minister of Town and Country Planning, Lewis Silkin to build a better Britain is as relevant today as it was then. Will says that if it was an opportunity missed, then the fault doesn't lie exclusively with the planning system, rather with our lack of desire to make the planning system work.

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he said he rents? Or did I misunderstand. Some good points but very little about the role of cheap credit in this sorry mess. Plus this being the bbc not a single word about mass immigrations role in the creation of current need for additional housing and as such the debate was hobbled.

good though that the horrible consequences of planning act and green belt etc is being discussed. It needs to be since it is the cause of considerable human misery.

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Unfortunately,I've seen Will Self on one of the rare occasions I've watched Question Time.It was after Brexit I think and he was in full on Islington strop mode.

I saw that too- comedy gold- a fully paid up member of the liberal elite running head on into democracy in action and unable to process the cognitive dissonance that followed.

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The game seems to be to regularly air the problem along with proposals to sort the mess out.  On the surface reasonable proposals.  Then ignore and carry on as before until they decide to do the same again.  In the meantime new home building is apparently still at record lows and anything that does get built is tinier than ever.

It's another variant of jam tomorrow, fob off, play for time and build your hopes up to dilute opposition - they're pretty skilled at that -  and Self gets another nice fee. 

Edited by billybong

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15 minutes ago, hotairmail said:

Indeed. Great points as ever.

The best example we have is that crap TV show HIGNFY. Let's everyone laugh at Lords/Queen/politicians/unfairness of life (delete as appropriate and change not one damn thing). It's there to give people an airting, a harmless outlet. 

 

Thank you - and indeed.

You get to see it so much over time that it starts to become a bit blatant.

Edited by billybong

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I like Will Self's writings, but seeing him on QT going full on remoaner retard was full of cognitive dissonance.

Typical SJW thinking screwed up thought processes.

 

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In looking into something about Poland for another thread I came across the stat that although Poland's population is roughly half the UK's and a much higher percentage of owner occupation they've been building far more homes than in the UK since the start of the economic collapse at least up to 2010.  In 2010 they built roughly twice as many as the UK.  The UK's house building numbers fell off really dramatically.

Unfortunately the stats didn't go beyond 2010.

It just goes to show what can be done in terms of house building despite imperfect conditions.  It's not the only example in the eu.  France with a similar population to the UK has been building massive amounts.

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9 hours ago, billybong said:

In looking into something about Poland for another thread I came across the stat that although Poland's population is roughly half the UK's and a much higher percentage of owner occupation they've been building far more homes than in the UK since the start of the economic collapse at least up to 2010.  In 2010 they built roughly twice as many as the UK.  The UK's house building numbers fell off really dramatically.

Unfortunately the stats didn't go beyond 2010.

It just goes to show what can be done in terms of house building despite imperfect conditions.  It's not the only example in the eu.  France with a similar population to the UK has been building massive amounts.

Great find.

UK House builders are sitting on land banks which are big enough to allow a million homes to be constructed

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/12/18/top-10-biggest-house-builders-control-land-almost-one-million/

This land is  basically kept out of the market to keep the price of new homes artificially high.

Presumably our politicians will be along in a minute to explain why they are allowing this situation to continue when other countries such as Poland are able to be build more houses even when a good portion of their construction labour force are actually working in the UK.

It should be noted that the supply side economic reforms of the Thatcher era are supposed to have made this situation impossible

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supply-side_economics

In fact the UK housing market is a classic example of Supply Side failure as the huge amounts of money poured into the market seem to be directed at propping up the price of existing property rather than creating more supply. All the evidence suggests this dysfunctional market has been deliberately engineered with support from the government. You would have thought that the left would be tearing the Conservatives to shreds on the historic failure of the Tory flagship policy of the last 40 years to address the biggest issue facing most of the UK population yet they seem obsessed with relative trivialities including it has to be said Brexit.

Edited by stormymonday_2011

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10 minutes ago, stormymonday_2011 said:

Great find.

UK House builders are sitting on land banks which are big enough to allow a million homes to be constructed

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/12/18/top-10-biggest-house-builders-control-land-almost-one-million/

They are basically being sat on to keep the price of new homes artificially high.

Presumably our politicians will be along in a minute to explain why they are allowing this situation to continue when other countries such as Poland are able to be build more houses even when a good portion of their construction labour force are actually working in the UK.

Good point.  Despite lots of Polish building labour moving to the UK to work on UK building sites Poland still kept up its rate of house building and continued to do so after the economic collapse (at least up to 2010 and most likely beyond).

So there's no reason why UK house building couldn't also have continued at around the pre economic collapse rate like Poland (and France as well as several other eu countries - and no doubt other countries not in the eu).  They already had the land to do it.

No reason other than greed along with a government full of excuses that couldn't wait to help them sell their artificially overpriced tiny rabbit hutches (HtB etc etc)

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.

Quote

 

http://www.worldbank.org/en/results/2016/10/27/construction-reforms-welcomed-in-poland

“My wife and I lived in a cramped apartment,” explains Balana, from in front of his new two-story house on the outskirts of Poland’s capital, Warsaw.

 “We always dreamed of having a house with a plot,” he says.

Poland has significantly simplified construction and occupancy permits for single-family houses, allowing the dreams of aspiring homeowners, like Balana, to come true, according to a World Bank report.

The report, part of a Reimbursable Advisory Services Agreement between the World Bank Group and Poland’s government, shows that a recent amendment to Poland’s Construction Law has greatly reduced the obstacles formerly involved in obtaining construction permits for single family houses.

 

 

Poland speeding up its permit system for new house building.

UK still moribund and likely subject to more interminable Treasury Select Committee meetings, white papers and other endless reports etc that never get anything done.

Edited by billybong

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39 minutes ago, stormymonday_2011 said:

Great find.

UK House builders are sitting on land banks which are big enough to allow a million homes to be constructed

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/12/18/top-10-biggest-house-builders-control-land-almost-one-million/

This land is  basically kept out of the market to keep the price of new homes artificially high.

Presumably our politicians will be along in a minute to explain why they are allowing this situation to continue when other countries such as Poland are able to be build more houses even when a good portion of their construction labour force are actually working in the UK.

It should be noted that the supply side economic reforms of the Thatcher era are supposed to have made this situation impossible

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supply-side_economics

In fact the UK housing market is a classic example of Supply Side failure as the huge amounts of money poured into the market seem to be directed at propping up the price of existing property rather than creating more supply. All the evidence suggests this dysfunctional market has been deliberately engineered with support from the government. You would have thought that the left would be tearing the Conservatives to shreds on the historic failure of the Tory flagship policy of the last 40 years to address the biggest issue facing most of the UK population yet they seem obsessed with relative trivialities including it has to be said Brexit.

I wonder if it's related to our fptp electoral system?

 

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1 hour ago, billybong said:

Good point.  Despite lots of Polish building labour moving to the UK to work on UK building sites Poland still kept up its rate of house building and continued to do so after the economic collapse (at least up to 2010 and most likely beyond).

So there's no reason why UK house building couldn't also have continued at around the pre economic collapse rate like Poland (and France as well as several other eu countries - and no doubt other countries not in the eu).  They already had the land to do it.

No reason other than greed along with a government full of excuses that couldn't wait to help them sell their artificially overpriced tiny rabbit hutches (HtB etc etc)

The UK has about 15% more houses, adjusted for population, than Poland. 

We have more than the EU average, more than the OECD average, more than the US, more than Ireland, more than Spain, more than Australia more than New Zealand and more than France. 

Edit: Deloitte disagrees, which is interesting, and I'm not sure why.  As it stands their graph of dwellings per capita doesn't look right to me.  

Obviously, I may be wrong but I base these things on government stats and try to double check with a couple of sources.

 

Edited by DrBuyToLeech

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I thought it was clear now that the present housing lunacy has nothing to do with available number of housing units? Danny Dorling has plenty to say on this, even in London there are more than enough rooms. It's about allocation, social care and other cuts discouraging social movement to more appropriate homes and greed...

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1 hour ago, thehowler said:

I thought it was clear now that the present housing lunacy has nothing to do with available number of housing units? Danny Dorling has plenty to say on this, even in London there are more than enough rooms. It's about allocation, social care and other cuts discouraging social movement to more appropriate homes and greed...

Dorling makes a lot of decent points but the graph that says it all for me is the one in James Meeks article on the Housing Crisis in the London Review of  Books

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n01/james-meek/where-will-we-live

meek01_3601_01.gif

The economic thinking underwriting Thatcherite policy was based on the claim that a market responds to signs of  rising demand by increasing supply but that clearly has not happened to any significant degree in the  UK during any of its post 1980 property bubbles.

Ironically Dorlings arguments that the problem is not the supply of property gives both Conservative governments and the house builders an ready made excuse not to build more. It is a classic example of a left wing academic (inadvertently or not) validating Tory policies. The only way Dorlings reforms could be imposed is by direct property redistribution on a massive scale which would require a command and control economy to implement it. It might have a lot of appeal on the left but it's chances of being a winning ticket at the ballot box are probably nil.

There is quite an analysis of the different arguments here

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/feb/14/great-housing-disaster-danny-dorling-review

One of the issues is that much of the speculative property built in each boom is flats. It is not aimed at where the biggest demand lies which is 2-3 bedroom houses to rent.

Edited by stormymonday_2011

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File on 4 today

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08jbc1s

Describes how many local district councils are investing speculating huge amounts of taxpayers money on commercial real estate. In some cases they already losing money just on the management costs and voids.

I don't really understand why it is that councils can spend money subsidising commercial property but they can't build new council housing for people to live in?

One of the people interviewed in this show reminded me of the slowest dumbest kid in my class at school, just rolling out pwoperdee buzzwords. They are so obviously going to get rinsed.

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2 hours ago, stormymonday_2011 said:

The only way Dorlings reforms could be imposed is by direct property redistribution on a massive scale which would require a command and control economy to implement it.

Some insights in your post, thanks. I guess Dorling might argue that we could incentivise older, single occupancy owners into smaller and more practical housing with greater home care visits, public transport and local state-sponsored help, combined with building the kind of housing they need - rather than the small 3 bed places that developers favour and, as you say, the "luxury" flats that underpin all housing bubbles.

I think Brexit has caught out a few of the leftie housing commentators as whilst they're shocked and appalled at the prospect of leaving the EU they welcome the potential downward force on HPI and asset inequality. I'm not sure it's going to pan out that way though...

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8 hours ago, DrBuyToLeech said:

The UK has about 15% more houses, adjusted for population, than Poland. 

We have more than the EU average, more than the OECD average, more than the US, more than Ireland, more than Spain, more than Australia more than New Zealand and more than France. 

Edit: Deloitte disagrees, which is interesting, and I'm not sure why.  As it stands their graph of dwellings per capita doesn't look right to me.  

Obviously, I may be wrong but I base these things on government stats and try to double check with a couple of sources.

 

Apart from the issue of what causes crazy house prices (which has been covered in great detail already on several other threads) and extra/maybe hoarded housing the government has committed to 1 million new homes within the current parliament and by the 2020 general election - as necessary because of rapid population increase and overcrowding in some areas etc.  

So to meet that target they need to build about 720,000 new homes in 3 years as new home building has been at record lows since the start of the economic crash (under NuLabour, Conservative/LibDem and Conservative governments).  

That is about 240,000 new homes every year - then there's going to be a similar issue after 2020 if the population continues to rapidly increase.

I imagine Deloitte's data is originally sourced from official organisations such as the ONS and similar eu organisations for the eu and so on globally.  

They make reference to the organisations in the links below

Quote

 

Edited by billybong

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Deloitte's data is derived from official sources, but they don't tally with data I have seen from various official sources. 

One of us may have screwed up somewhere, that's possible but unlikely (there's not much room for screwing up a division). More likely they're using a different definition of dwelling.

FYI - Its not the UK figure, I basically agree with their number for that, it's the other countries that I disagree with, and I'm much less confident regarding definitions and so on outside of the UK.

 

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12 hours ago, DrBuyToLeech said:

Deloitte's data is derived from official sources, but they don't tally with data I have seen from various official sources. 

One of us may have screwed up somewhere, that's possible but unlikely (there's not much room for screwing up a division). More likely they're using a different definition of dwelling.

FYI - Its not the UK figure, I basically agree with their number for that, it's the other countries that I disagree with, and I'm much less confident regarding definitions and so on outside of the UK.

 

From what you've said you're disputing the numbers of dwellings per capita in the report.

What I found shocking in the report was the tiny amount of housing you get for your money in the UK compared to the rest of the world.  That is the extreme poverty of  value in the UK housing stock.

I was already aware it was poor value in the UK (tiniest homes in europe and London prices similar to Monaco's) but the report highlighted just how truly awful it really is.

Edited by billybong

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