Friday, June 24, 2011

Campaign

Get on our land

Launching today, Get on our land is a new Inside Housing campaign. Its aim is simple: to free up land on which to build homes.

Posted by dill @ 08:25 AM (1338 views)
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7 thoughts on “Campaign

  • “London – 30,500 homes needed”

    Err, what? I think they’ll find the demand for housing in London is (for practical purposes) unlimited. 70%* of those who currently rent in London would like to own their own place. 80%* of those who already own their own place would like a bigger place (the other 20% are in denial like the fox & the grapes).

    Their own figures show that there is only enough vacant land for 4,719 new homes in London. We need another way to allocate land efficiently in the capital. LVT. QED.

    [*88% of statistics are made up]

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  • @drewster
    Presumably we should build an infinite number of homes as a much better solution than LVT. Probably that is in fact their message, as a housing industry publication.

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  • Well yes, everybody has a vested interest. And in truth London could hold a lot more people if we build upwards, with New York-style 50-storey glass and chrome skyscrapers, and 10-storey brick buildings. Instead we make do with 2- and 3-floor houses with a scrap of rear garden and a scrap of front garden paved over into a parking space. Even new-build flats in London rarely go higher than 5 floors.

    LVT isn’t just about building more. It’s about allocating the existing land more efficiently. It’s also greener because commutes are reduced. Win-win all round.

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  • sibley's b'stard child says:

    Fair enough Drewster, but I can’t think of many people that would be happy to live on the 23rd floor of a tower block had they the choice; would you?

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    Drewster, yes, seconded.

    SBC, that’s the point about LVT, it encourages efficient use of land and rewards those who use least. So if you are prepared to live in a twenty storey block, then the good news is, you only pay a quarter as much LVT as somebody in a five storey block and a twentieth as much as somebody who lives in a house in that specific area. You pays your money and takes your choice.*

    This leads to shorter commutes, less pollution etc, win-win.

    * I am very much a suburban fox and would always prefer to live in a house with a garden, however small, but in return, I am happy to live much further out from the city centre where land values are much lower. So the same trade off applies – a flat in the centre costs about the same in LVT as a house out in the suburbs etc.

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  • sibley's b'stard child says:

    Hmm, I guess so MW I hadn’t considered that point.

    It’s just that tower block living is so, erm, dehumanising and unnatural (from a societal point of view) that I feel uneasy at the suggestion that the simple solution to the allocation of land is to build upwards ad infinitum. Of course, your point re: LVT is entirely logical and makes economic sense; more so than my emotive reaction, and I can’t possibly counter your argument.

    I suppose in an ideal world we’d all have a little strip of land. Perhaps an orchard as well. Did I mention a conservatory?

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    SBC, each to their own, there’s a free market solution to all of this:

    1. Some people like living in a ten-storey block of flats in the middle of town – allegedly, some Oligarch paid £136 million for such a flat recently – some like the inner suburbs, some the outer ones, some the faux bucolic commuter villages and some want to scratch out a living as a smallholder in the middle of nowhere. The natural contour of any self-respecting city is a pyramid shape.

    2. There is always a trade off, maybe above a certain number of storeys, the marginal rental return becomes negative, i.e. IF rents for a flat in a 10-storey block (where each flat = one storey) for £500 each, THEN the landlord’s total income = £5,000 a month, BUT IF rents for a flat in a 15-storey block are only £300 (total income £4,500 a month) THEN nobody would build higher than ten storeys.

    3. There is another trade-off in terms of build costs, i.e. the first five storeys cost £100/square foot, the next five cost £120/sq foot and over ten storeys it costs £150/sq foot and so on, there is again a trade-off, which interacts with the phenomenon in point 2 and acts as a natural upper limit.

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