3 thoughts on “Liberating the housing market through fiscal decentralisation”

  1. Posted 21/11/2014 at 08:32 | Permalink

    “Greenbelts do the precise opposite. They are indiscriminate bans on development, completely unrelated to any features of the land they apply to.” Kristian, in practice this isn’t really the case. The government has already relaxed such restrictions. There are major new housing developments under construction around my town on what was designated greenbelt land. The government forced housing quotas on my local council and so they had to build on greenbelt land – 4000 new houses for a town with an existing population of just 30,000. The population will increase by a quarter as a result.

  2. Posted 21/11/2014 at 11:19 | Permalink

    HJ, yes, we talked about this before. I don’t know the specifics of your area, but I guess those are two sides of the same coin: When housebuilding is generally suppressed, a huge backlog in demand is created, which will then sometimes erupt, causing sudden local spikes in selected areas. In contrast, the area where I grew up has seen steady increases in housing numbers for decades, but as far as I can tell, there has never been one huge sudden jump in any one place. Development of that kind is more widely accepted, as it doesn’t threaten people’s sense of place. Towns and villages grow slowly and gradually.

  3. Posted 21/11/2014 at 16:09 | Permalink

    We don’t have a housing shortage. We have an over supply. We have more dwellings per capita than ever, as confirmed by the 2011 Census. If we have over a million empty homes and 25 million empty spare bedrooms, perhaps over supply is a risk facing the UK economy.

    We do have affordability issues. Which will not be solved by simplistic answers which bear no relation to how the real World works. Building more homes in London and the SE is like trying to put out a fire by putting more twigs on the edge. Global demand is insatiable.

    Housing unaffordability, urban sprawl, vacancy, under occupancy, land banking, NIBMYISM, regional inequality and boom/bust cycles are all caused by the same thing. Capitalised land rent.

    Sort that out and the market can function efficiently and our “housing crisis” would disappear. Probably without the need for any Greenbelt regulations or the need to build on it. And, happily we could have a proper capitalist economy instead of a Land ponzi scheme that only benefits a tiny elite.

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