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Second-home Owners Are Among The Most Selfish People In Britain - Guardian Article


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I accept much of that, but it is indicative of a lack of imagination of the developers. The number of empty/derelict properties needs addressing too. When all this has been done, and the issue of second home ownership has been effectively dealt with, then we can explore responsible development of greenfield sites. But there's absolutely no point in trashing more and more land without addressing these major issues first.

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I accept much of that, but it is indicative of a lack of imagination of the developers.

70 dwellings per hectare breaches the laws of physics not just the limits of imagination, such spatial compression doesn't allow for gardens or sympathetic green architecture. You cannot expect an Ebenezer Howard inspired Garden City (ecocity) to spring up under the the current rules. People don't understand the intricacies of planning policy, hence so much uninformed crap gets published and commented upon in the popular press.

People are being conditioned to live in expensive rabbit hutches built on postage stamps.

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I haven't read Monbiot's book so I don't know what he has to say about the Skye bridge fiasco. What I do know however is that one reason the scheme went ahead was that the ferry was losing money. I once stayed with a local who was arrested for refusing to pay when the bridge opened. She said, "Mind you, we never used to pay to use the ferry. We'd just wave the book of tickets, and of course we knew the chap so he'd wave us through. None of the locals paid."

Funny old world.

On the 2nd home point, of course Monbiot is wide of the mark in suggesting a direct link between homelessness and 2nd homes. The overwhelming majority of homeless people have problems with drink / drugs / mental illness / sexual abuse which prevent them from holding down a job or even renting a flat. Their plight is sad, but not much to do with 2nd homes.

As many people have said many times on this site, there isn't a housing shortage. There's a shortage of affordable housing. How much do 2nd home owners contribute to this? Probably not as much as divorces, currently running at nearly 200,000 per year. One of my best mates is recently divorced (he found his wife was shagging someone else), so from owning one Victorian semi between them they now occupy two, the kids shuttling between them. Where is the clamour on HPC or in society at large for a return to intolerance of infidelity?

Immigration also increases housing demand, not only because more workers = more accommodation needed. It also bears down on wage inflation, contributing to the low interest rates which have fuelled the fire of house price rises.

Of course one of the great ironies is that while Monbiot is happy to trash 2nd home owners, it's lefties like him who were at the forefront of the sexual revolution in the 60s and who in the Guardian's PC planet are afraid to think - let alone say - that a bit less immigration might not be a bad thing.

Last point. A mate of mine owns two properties in Cumbria. He never gets to go there because they're always booked up. It's called tourism and it's the only industry that employs anyone in the region.

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Hi,

I don't think owning a few homes itself is so bad. Particularly for the professional landlord. The issue is at this time is a problem because it was a politically engineered move favouring in the main part one group and at grave cost to other areas of the economy. I can't really think of too many others places around the world that would openly encourage rank-amateur investors en masse to borrow reckless amounts of money with no experience or commitment to housing as a business or profession, just to become a 'have-a-go-landlord' with the obvious instability and social problems this causes within the private renting sector, just so voters can be indulged in property flipping. OK, if you had to pay full council tax, be properly regulated as a landlord or even be subject to capital gains, it would calm things down and leave the field clear to the professional developers and landlords or those who really are making a long term investment choise other than 'fad' buying or 'quick bucks'. And let us say this is a small island (ok, we know that is rubbish since the vast majority of land isn't permitted building regulation and we cram most of the economy into the South East at the same time), you would think those kinds of initiatives in key areas would already be in place to assist business in keeping wage costs competitve and maybe to encourage more younger Britons to breed. Anyway, I'll leave it there before I go into a NuLabour-Gordon Brown-rant.

Boomer

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As many people have said many times on this site, there isn't a housing shortage. There's a shortage of affordable housing. How much do 2nd home owners contribute to this? Probably not as much as divorces, currently running at nearly 200,000 per year. One of my best mates is recently divorced (he found his wife was shagging someone else), so from owning one Victorian semi between them they now occupy two, the kids shuttling between them. Where is the clamour on HPC or in society at large for a return to intolerance of infidelity?

Whilst it doesn't help, the divorce rate has been basically flat since the early 80's, so I don't entirely buy this argument.

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Divorce rates might well increase housing demand, but don't forget that many divorcees will eventually find a new partner and move in together, thus reducing demand. Divorce rates alone don't tell the whole story, it must be referenced against the rate at which people re-establish partnerships, although I doubt if this kind of data even exists?

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Any embarrassment that George Monbiot penned this article surprises and saddens me. Monbiot is a force for good and his arguments for sustainability and fairness are clear, compelling, well researched and sincere.

Monbiot is a force for himself. He is a force for the front page of the Indie. Nothing more, nothing less.

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Complete nonsense.

1. Why are the buyers of 2nd homes more culpable than the sellers ? The sellers in these villages couldn't give a stuff about their neighbours' children either.

2. Why is it worse to buy a 2nd home rather than a 2nd Mars bar (which a starving boy in Africa could well do with) or a 2nd cup of Starbucks or anything else for that matter. It's philosophical nonsense to suggest 2nd homes are ethically evil and the 2nd round at the bar isn't.

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Complete nonsense.

1. Why are the buyers of 2nd homes more culpable than the sellers ? The sellers in these villages couldn't give a stuff about their neighbours' children either.

2. Why is it worse to buy a 2nd home rather than a 2nd Mars bar (which a starving boy in Africa could well do with) or a 2nd cup of Starbucks or anything else for that matter. It's philosophical nonsense to suggest 2nd homes are ethically evil and the 2nd round at the bar isn't.

E, try looking up the difference between rivalrous and non-rivalrous goods. Then try making the philosophical argument.

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Of course, the definition of 'brownfield' is very fuzzy, it means that anything within a city or town boundary is open season, many brownfields are surprisingly green, playing fields, public football pitches, allotments, small parks, green set aside land in urban areas and even peoples' back gardens are classified as "brownfield", they are afforded no protection at all! So ironically the the brownfield policy actively destroys the useful and valued green spaces within towns and cities themselves, people mistakenly believe the sort of land described above is protected under the "greenbelt", far from it, hence people reasonably oppose development on greenbelt, or what they think is the greenbelt, but actually end up destroying what they are trying to protect in the first place.

I am green to the core but I must say that I agree with you here. Brownfield sites - sometimes especially industrial wastelands, because they are little disturbed - can be oases for all kinds of species (e.g. various populations of black redstarts at disused sites in London). Not sure how 'green' the vast acres of arable crop land with no hedgerows and tonnes of x-icides on it all year round really are, either - nice green developments with gardens might well make better habitats in some areas. Also, trying to pen all development into the cities enforces an 'it and us' mentality in which nature becomes something we nip out and visit in the 4x4 of a weekend rather than something we make space for in our daily lives. Not wanting to say that we should allow willy-nilly building in the countryside but we need to rethink - and the massive and unimaginative new town developments ain't it!

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Without wanting to stray too far off topic, I find this argument interesting.

Are you saying that just because Monbiot has benefited from certain privelages and financial support, that his views are meaningless? Instead of attacking the guy on an irrelevance, why dont people actually listen to what he says and offer a counterpoint to his suggestions? I by no means agree with monbiot on everything he says, but I do listen to what he says and offer criticism of his ideas.... I do not discount him just because he comes from a privilaged background, uses modern luxuries like the rest of us, and doesnt live in a treehouse.

As a counter argument, would you only ever take environmental advice from a tree-dwelling tree hugging man of the land? I doubt it.

Feel free to attack me.... I enjoy the benefits of cheap flights.... but I wouldn't complain if I was priced out of this benefit through proper taxation of aviation fuel. Does this make me a hyporcrite? I don't think so, if I argue for the end of cheap flights, I lose out as much as the next chav...

the only way to make changes like these are on a global scale.... who's going to reduce their 'competitiveness' unless everyone does it at the same time? some things require some degree of global governance (ok perhaps not a central government) .... on that note... can you tell me what sort of government he is a proponent of? I thought it was alot more complex than simply a central global government.... anyone here read 'age of consent'?

Very good post - it is nice to see you shut Rachman up - he was employing age old ad hominem to discredit Monbiot. Absolute rubbish of course.

I have a lot of respect for George Monbiot. So what if he came from a moneyed background!?! He either speaks sense or not. Rachman your nasty little jibes at him...are they class envy!?!

Like the earlier poster said - AT LEAST HE DOESN'T WORK IN THE CITY.

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  • 439 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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