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Ardently Thatcherite Portillo Calls for Lower House Prices

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Anyone see This Week last night (as opposed to last night, this week)?

Famously Thatcherite Michael Portillo called for a "massive council house building programme", funded centrally off the back of "historically low interest rates". The stated aim? "To bring house prices down" (!!) That bears repeating. Not merely to solve the 'housing crisis' (something he, unlike Carney, actually believes exists) but "to bring house prices down".

See, the thing that lefties don't understand, is that there can be no free market in housing so long as we have planning restrictions, or for that matter, government sponsored loans into that market. And that is why a committed Thatcherite like Portillo, with an instinct for free markets, is perfectly happy to countenance state intervention in the building process.

As he put it, the handful of scale house builders, seem more than happy to build a handful of houses at high margin, rather than the multitude of houses we need at low margin (in other words, they are not responding to price signals - ie the market is broken).

He also responded to the idea that such a building process might spook the debt markets and lead to higher rates for gov borrowing. He said that the country would be left with an asset which could produce an income for government coffers (rent), so there was not as much danger of a debt downgrade as might first be feared. And then he put the icing on the cake by asking whether higher interest rates were such a bad thing anyhow, given their record lows (and the collateral damage this is inflicting elsewhere).

 

The guy is 64. That's just 3 years older than May and 4 years younger than Corbyn. Just sayin' is all!

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I used to despise him when he was in government, but sometimes he seems quite sensible now, I wonder if it was me or him that changed.

Yes he's been saying build council houses for a while now. There is some guy who seems to work for the telegraph of all things who pops up with a detailed report on the housing crisis every now and then.

It was funny last week when Portillo and some labour woman were in agreement over a lot of things.

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7 minutes ago, frederico said:

I used to despise him when he was in government, but sometimes he seems quite sensible now, I wonder if it was me or him that changed.

If you give a trainspotter unlimited access to trains, they mellow.

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:lol: ^^^^^

Thought his repost (given his own bisexual past) to that SJW was spot on as well.

Plus (given he anti-Nationalist Spanish roots) what he said about the European Union being fundamentally undemocratic was also apposite.

I have to admit, I like the guy. Doubtless he'll now go and say something I fundamentally disagree with.

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He has said similar things before...I have posted on here before saying that he talks a lot of sense.  If he had been PM instead of Camoron I doubt this website would be needed. 

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3 minutes ago, Wayward said:

He has said similar things before...I have posted on here before saying that he talks a lot of sense.  If he had been PM instead of Camoron I doubt this website would be needed. 

Unfortunately they say different things when they hold power.

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45 minutes ago, Social Justice League said:

So. why isn't the current government building millions of 'for rent only' council houses?

What are they waiting for?

It' s a no brainer to me too.  

The current government must have an idealogical mental block on it, plus their overriding loyalty to VIs and donors.  One practical problem might still be who is going to build these buildings?   Surely it would end up with the same land-banking, vested interest, building firms though?  

I am still waiting for someone to suggest self-build as a way of releasing the VIs and Nimby-ists evil clutches....

Edited by nightowl

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38 minutes ago, Sledgehead said:

:lol: ^^^^^

Thought his repost (given his own bisexual past) to that SJW was spot on as well.

Plus (given he anti-Nationalist Spanish roots) what he said about the European Union being fundamentally undemocratic was also apposite.

I have to admit, I like the guy. Doubtless he'll now go and say something I fundamentally disagree with.

Come off it Sledgie, a grown man with a penchant for state subsidised public transport bankrolled by a state broadcaster?

 

He ain’t no Thatcherite 

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46 minutes ago, Social Justice League said:

So. why isn't the current government building millions of 'for rent only' council houses?

 

Because it would bring rents and prices down, people will then default on loans (especially BTL loans) and the banks will all go bust. Again.

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I like him too. Which is something I would never have thought in the early/mid 1990s.  I remember watching his infamous "We Dare, We Will Win" speech live as I had a day off work. It seemed to go down a storm with the delegates in the hall but I thought it was one of the cringiest speeches I'd ever heard.

Then following his election defeat he went on his "journey" and softened somewhat on some of the social issues.

But he always seems very quick to claim that the economic battle of ideas was settled 40 years ago and that deregulation and low income taxes are the only way.

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53 minutes ago, nightowl said:

 

I am still waiting for someone to suggest self-build as a way of releasing the VIs and Nimby-ists evil clutches....

self build is the only way out of this mess , can you really see them releasing land though ? i am on the self build register but can`t see them offering me anything. 

too many friends of the party have control and own too much land. 

 

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Used to think he was a dick, like everyone else, then I found out he liked trains so I listened to his ideas. Now I think he's alright.

Sadly, he's nowhere near power and if he was he'd probably have his mind changed like the rest of them.

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Portillo on This Week in 2013 criticising Help to Buy Bail Banks:

Quote

 

House prices in this country have not fallen nearly enough. We had this enormous bubble and house prices lets face it have not really adjusted.

Now of course the reason that is, is we have very low interest rates and the government doesn't want anyone to lose their homes because that's politically very difficult.

But we are creating a massively unequal society, of 'haves', people who are already on the property ladder or who's parents will pass them a property, and the 'have nots', which now includes a vast proportion of young people, and the measure announced by the chancellor of course, because it will enable a few more people to buy houses, will push up house prices so it actually makes our fundamental problems worse."

 

From Sleepyhead's thread http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?/topic/188869-michael-portillo-nails-it-on-this-week/

 

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Portillo is the prime example of a former politician actually turning out to be a sensible human being once they've lost power.

For an example of the reverse, see Vince Cable - brilliant as an opposition MP, but as soon as he was in government he stopped talking sense.

Even George Osborne seems to be in with a chance of the same treatment.

It makes you wonder why on earth they can't have good policies when they're actually in a position to implement them.  Is it that power corrupts?  Is it the Westminster/media bubble?  Are there shadowy lizard-men exerting mind control over our leaders?

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1 minute ago, irrationalactor said:

Portillo is the prime example of a former politician actually turning out to be a sensible human being once they've lost power.

For an example of the reverse, see Vince Cable - brilliant as an opposition MP, but as soon as he was in government he stopped talking sense.

Even George Osborne seems to be in with a chance of the same treatment.

It makes you wonder why on earth they can't have good policies when they're actually in a position to implement them.  Is it that power corrupts?  Is it the Westminster/media bubble?  Are there shadowy lizard-men exerting mind control over our leaders?

The shadow lizards control everything.  Everything.   Will we find that all out one day?  Not a chance.

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1 hour ago, EmmaRoid said:

Come off it Sledgie, a grown man with a penchant for state subsidised public transport bankrolled by a state broadcaster?

 

He ain’t no Thatcherite 

ahhhh ... I was wondering when one of you men was going to point that out

:P

(2nd time in a week I've had to reply to you in this vein  ... you aren't by any chance my "on second thoughts" cerebral lobe I seem to have mislaid of late?)

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21 minutes ago, irrationalactor said:

Portillo is the prime example of a former politician actually turning out to be a sensible human being once they've lost power.

For an example of the reverse, see Vince Cable - brilliant as an opposition MP, but as soon as he was in government he stopped talking sense.

Even George Osborne seems to be in with a chance of the same treatment.

It makes you wonder why on earth they can't have good policies when they're actually in a position to implement them.  Is it that power corrupts?  Is it the Westminster/media bubble?  Are there shadowy lizard-men exerting mind control over our leaders?

you are of course entirely right and raise a valid point

 

Still, I thought, it's Friday, it's sunny, let's post something a bit cheery. Yes, an irrational burst of glass-half-fullness, I know, I know.

I promise to return to cynical grumpiness on Monday. We're all allowed a little holiday now and again, surely?

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1 hour ago, nightowl said:

One practical problem might still be who is going to build these buildings?   Surely it would end up with the same land-banking, vested interest, building firms though?  

 

I'd like to see an explosion in modular home manufacturers. Proper engineered accommodation. The kind of thing you prefabricate with the precision and efficiency of a modern car plant. The sort of structures that can sit on screw-piling and can be erected on site in hours, plumbed in in days - and removed / relocated in the same timescale. Pilot settlements would be easy to set up so as  to judge the impact and utility. And like all production line products, prices would only go down with time.

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5 hours ago, Sledgehead said:

Anyone see This Week last night (as opposed to last night, this week)?

Famously Thatcherite Michael Portillo called for a "massive council house building programme", funded centrally off the back of "historically low interest rates". The stated aim? "To bring house prices down" (!!) That bears repeating. Not merely to solve the 'housing crisis' (something he, unlike Carney, actually believes exists) but "to bring house prices down".

See, the thing that lefties don't understand, is that there can be no free market in housing so long as we have planning restrictions, or for that matter, government sponsored loans into that market. And that is why a committed Thatcherite like Portillo, with an instinct for free markets, is perfectly happy to countenance state intervention in the building process.

As he put it, the handful of scale house builders, seem more than happy to build a handful of houses at high margin, rather than the multitude of houses we need at low margin (in other words, they are not responding to price signals - ie the market is broken).

He also responded to the idea that such a building process might spook the debt markets and lead to higher rates for gov borrowing. He said that the country would be left with an asset which could produce an income for government coffers (rent), so there was not as much danger of a debt downgrade as might first be feared. And then he put the icing on the cake by asking whether higher interest rates were such a bad thing anyhow, given their record lows (and the collateral damage this is inflicting elsewhere).

 

The guy is 64. That's just 3 years older than May and 4 years younger than Corbyn. Just sayin' is all!

Always the only sane person on housing in MSM.

Bonus: His destruction of the EU and that Scotty lad about masculinity made the entire episode one of the best. And I hate the Tories and Portillo generally.

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5 hours ago, Eddie_George said:

If you give a trainspotter unlimited access to trains, they mellow.

You know off the record you can tell he knows privatisation was wrong for the rails.

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3 hours ago, Social Justice League said:

So. why isn't the current government building millions of 'for rent only' council houses?

What are they waiting for?

Agreed. It seems such an obvious solution, but it would involve admitting that the whole "right to buy" experiment was a complete disaster.

1. End right-to-buy immediately.

2. Let councils borrow to build, remove restrictions on where they can build and also get building at central government level. All social housing, owned by councils.

3. Massively reduce the enormous housing benefit bill by housing HB recipients in council owned accommodation instead of paying private LLs.

Altogether this would massively reduce the benefits bill, severely curtail the scourge that is BTL and bring house prices down across the board. The latter reason is probably why they won't consider it despite the huge benefits of the former.

Also agree that if the house builders won't build then make it easier for self-build. Some kind of reduced planning hurdles for self-builders (single homes). There are countless people who would love to give it a shot but finding a cost effective plot with planning is virtually impossible.

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