Wednesday, Apr 29, 2015

The huge lie at the heart of britain's housing policy

FT: A debate on UK housing is conducted in bad faith

"Britain can build many more houses and remain green and pleasant" Yes we can have more wildlife and Housing (especially with a land value tax)

Posted by pete green @ 09:31 AM (3541 views)
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13 Comments

1. nickb said...

The huge lie is rather than the high prices are because of a physical shortage of houses, rather than banks' ability to lend people obscene multiples of their salaries and a lack of credit control towards productive activities rather than asset speculation. By 2011 there had never been more dwellings per head in this country with data going back to the 1950s (collected by DCLG and its precursors that used to be published in 'social trends').
I don't think that more development goes hand in hand with more wildlife though. LVT would mitigate but not negate the problem as it would compact further development.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 09:50AM Report Comment
 

2. cornishman said...

nickb said...
"By 2011 there had never been more dwellings per head in this country"

I agree with your points about bank lending and asset speculation - but I also think that there are probably many more 'heads' in the UK than the data picks up.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 11:25AM Report Comment
 

3. pete green said...

More development can be with more wildlife - if conducted like our friends in Holland. Eco grids and nature reserves and through new developments on green field sites contain more wildlife than the farmers fields they replace. We could do this for instance with 'Garden cities'. Also with LVT the more efficient use of land, to maximise its potential use is huge, and we could vastly increase the density & quality of urban environments across the UK.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 03:05PM Report Comment
 

4. cyril said...

@1 houses per head of population is not really the issue - the problem is that household size is much smaller than it was in the 1950s. Also people need more space for all the stuff that they didn't have in those days!
I basically agree with you though - housing demand is elastic so if you make more finance available people will buy more houses (or bigger ones).
Look at James Dyson for example - he now owns more land than the Queen and you can't say that's based on housing 'need'

Thursday, April 30, 2015 12:15PM Report Comment
 

5. nickb said...

Pete,
I lived in Holland for 2.5 years in Amsterdam and travelled a bit. I was generally struck by the absence of wildlife and the way one town grew into another with little resembling countryside in-between. This casual observation was confirmed on moving back to UK by Dutch colleagues over here who commented how nice it was that we have not got rid of all our wildlife and still have open countyside. I think this (nice countryside etc.) is a by-product of a socially outrageous system of land ownership and rent harvesting (small slices of land sold to the peasants its was stolen off for high prices). But it's nonetheless a good by-product.
N

Thursday, April 30, 2015 02:21PM Report Comment
 

6. nickb said...

@2
who is to say? What other reliable source of information is there?
N

Thursday, April 30, 2015 02:23PM Report Comment
 

7. cyril said...

Nickb I agree. Most people on this site advocate building all over the place to deal with housing demand which is fair enough if you haven't got anywhere to live. But housing demand is insatiable and people who have 1 house want another one or a bigger one. People need to control their expansionist tendencies and learn to appreciate what little is left of the natural world. It'll never work though. We're doomed!

Friday, May 1, 2015 02:33PM Report Comment
 

8. tenyearstogetmymoneyback said...

Cyril @7

I wonder how much of that is due to cause and effect.

Buy a nice house and there is a good chance it will make you tax free money
- i.e. Price increases will be greater than mortgage interest, plus you get the
benefit of somewhere to live in the meantime.

Buy a nice car and watch it drop in value every year.
Leave your money in the bank and watch inflation eat it away.

There probably are "investments" with a better return than housing
but unless only the likes of Warren Buffet know what they are.

I have sometimes wondered if it would be a good idea if the Government
offered some kind of Pensioners Housing Bond allowing them to downsize
their from 5 bed mansion but guaranteeing the return they would have got from
the five bed.

On that subject someone I know who lives alone having been recently widowed has
just downsized from a Six bed to a Four bed house !

Saturday, May 2, 2015 09:15AM Report Comment
 

9. cyril said...

@8 yes I know someone who's cat has sole use of one of the spare bedrooms.

Saturday, May 2, 2015 10:41AM Report Comment
 

10. Janch said...

@8 and @9 This is the real issue. House-blocking by the well off pensioners who occupy houses young families should be living in. The old folks can't manage the garden or the house so they employ gardeners and cleaners when they would be better off in a smaller place which is maintained as part of the deal. There are great swathes of these well-off elderly in certain parts of the country.

Saturday, May 2, 2015 02:20PM Report Comment
 

11. clockslinger said...

@1 "The huge lie is rather than the high prices are because of a physical shortage of houses, rather than banks' ability to lend people obscene multiples of their salaries and a lack of credit control towards productive activities rather than asset speculation."
YOU IS DAMN RIGHT, NICK B! (you must be some kind of subversive commie)

Saturday, May 2, 2015 05:10PM Report Comment
 

12. Townplanner said...

I couldn't open the FT article without registering.. so I registered for 3 articles a month and it said I have already read three articles!! Harrumpf

As a town planner, I have to say the system is a tits up failure from start to finish. Where do I start?

You are not allowed to build without permission from planners. But planners, mostly council workers value slugs more than people. They talk about promoting wildlife.. I have a wildlife problem by way of rats. Rats are part of wildlife. No kidding, there is a huge rat population near where I live. They try and find every excuse to prevent house building,, yet they call people who don't have a home, vulnerable and disadvantaged.

Sunday, May 3, 2015 08:54AM Report Comment
 

13. nickb said...

@10
OK you got me, but these days we are known as "domestic extremists".
N

Monday, May 4, 2015 03:12PM Report Comment
 

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