Above all, however, the government assumes too easily that freeing up planning will get more houses built and that building more houses will necessarily bring down prices.
Housebuilders often sit on land, while its value goes up, instead of developing it: at present they are holding enough land, with planning permission, for 400,000 homes, enough – even if built in a traditional terrace – to reach from London to Rome.
Housing completions are around 130k a year. It takes three years or so to get planning permission. So, they’re holding enough land as stock to cover the time it takes to get more land as stock.
Seems reasonable, no?