Not really love, no

Capitalism is reshaping the property market, locking younger generations out of buying somewhere to live and expecting us to be happy about it

Anticapitalism in the form of excessive planning is making housing expensive.

If the bureaucracy would issue more planning permissions then housing would be cheaper.

24 thoughts on “Not really love, no”

  1. what you need Tim is to find some angle about the T&C planning act that was racist (at a pinch you could say it was passed without a single black vote in favour) and thus needs to be repealed immediately. Add on a layer that replacing it would be an homage to racist legislation, best thing to do, tear it down, chuck it in the thames. That might get all those young peeps sitting on the gauche side of the tennis court to campaign for something worthwhile.

  2. Why don’t people who think that capitalism is bad move to somewhere that doesn’t have it? Or they could just refuse to play the capitalist game by not working for the man and refusing to buy his stuff.

  3. If younger generations aren’t capitalists then they won’t want to invest capital in a house anyway, so there’s no problem at all.

  4. Many factors have led to the current ridiculous house prices, all due to the state.

    1. Planning permission restrictions
    2. Nearly 15 years of artificially low BoE interest rates
    3. Promotion of two income households
    4. Housing benefits and requiring a room per benefit-recieving family member rather than having them share
    5. Help to buy schemes pumping demand

    Of course the anti-capitalists ignore all this, point to the wealthy Russians and Arabs who have bought homes in Mayfair and claim they’re the entire reason homes are so expensive in Swindon.

  5. “If the bureaucracy would issue more planning permissions then housing would be cheaper.”

    How many times do you have to be told that it isn’t the ‘planning permission’ thats the problem? Its all the legislation that controls how houses can be built on land that everyone agrees can have houses built on it that is the issue. For example in my area there are currently about 1000 acres of land that either has an actual planning permission granted or is zoned in an area that means houses could be built, but nothing is happening because of the restrictions placed on developers after they get a planning permission.

    For example I recently sold some land to a developer for part of a large urban extension. They have outline planning permission, all signed and sealed. But can they start digging? Of course not! They need a Section 106 agreement with the council first, which is basically the State taking a large proportion of the value of the development for itself. Negotiating this started about 2 years ago, and is still ongoing. And of course before they can start digging they need a detailed planning permission as well, the outline one is just broad brush, then they need to go down into every detail from what the houses will look like to where the street lamps will be. That’ll be another 18 months at least to get that. Plus of course we are talking local government here so all of this takes far longer than necessary as at any given point someone crucial in the planning dept is on holiday, or sick or just working at the pace of an arthritic snail. And no-one ever is delegated to do the work of those away from work, so if they are away the whole process grinds to a halt. With all the festive periods, and the summer holiday season there’s probably about 8 months of the year where anything can be done.

    So it has nothing to do with ‘issuing more planning permissions’, the south of England is awash with housing developments, and allocated development sites. Its the bureaucracy that controls how they are developed thats the issue, not the bureaucracy that controls where things can be built in principle.

  6. and if they stopped adding in conditionssuch as giving councils a % of the houses free, have a pond by the entrance, that is never maintained by the council. That would help too.

  7. “Nice little development you’re proposing here. Shame if it didn’t get permission, eh?”

    The “affordable housing”(sic) scam is the adult equivalent of the scouse runt offering to “mind yer car”.

  8. Similar to Jim’s comment, a significant element of housing cost is the bribes needed to be paid to the local council. Um, “planning gain”, sorry.

    And obviously, housing isn’t unaffordable, because if it were, people could not afford it, so people wouldn’t be able to buy. The price would drop until the buyers return. That there are buyers proves the price is not ‘unaffordable’. Expensive yes.

  9. I think she’s on to something in this article here, I really do! Getting rid of the CORPORATE LSNDLORD is vital.

    So, if the government were to takes steps agsinst corporate landlords, such as enabling people to buy their homes from housing associations at areduced price, well she would be madly im favour, wouldn’t she? And we can expect her to start writing adticles praising Mrs Thatcher for her far-sighted Council House policy from the 1980s, can’t we? Can’t we?

  10. If the bureaucracy would issue more planning permissions then housing would be cheaper.

    Cheaper for corporations and pension funds to buy. You’ve chosen to completely ignore her main point, that those bodies are buying “family homes” bigtime and competing with private individuals on price. Just because a Guardian bint with a compassionate head tilt says something doesn’t automatically mean it’s wrong.

    These outfits putting big money into bricks and mortar is interesting on several fronts and is worth more examination than a reflex “planning permission/carbon tax/LVT” knee twitch.

  11. What Jim said times 10.

    Just abandoned a development because the s.106 demands and affordable housing requirements make it an uncommercial proposition even if the market remains ‘hot’ (unlikely) and you can get builders and materials at a reasonable price (impossible).

    That’ll be written up as “another developer landbanking, the evil scum”.

  12. What Mal Reynolds says. Plus ‘housing benefit’ is a subsidy to landowners. And the UK tax system taxes the productive factors of production – entrepreneurialism, labour and capital (sort of saved labour) – and under-taxes or even subsides land. But by far the greatest driver of high land prices is the unwarranted expansion of money and credit, all at the wrong – too low – a price, by the Bank of England and the bank regulators egging on the commercial banks (which are a de facto state sanctioned specially privileged cartelised supplier of a monopoly product engaged in counterfeiting).

    Jim. Nope. the cost of Section 106 agreements is incident on the land owner / land seller – i.e. you. The developer factored that in to what he’d pay you. But yes, the looters in the self-serving bureaucracy are another major evil.

  13. “Jim. Nope. the cost of Section 106 agreements is incident on the land owner / land seller – i.e. you. The developer factored that in to what he’d pay you. But yes, the looters in the self-serving bureaucracy are another major evil.”

    S106 costs may be incident on the landowner thats true.But if they didn’t exist there would be downward pressure on the selling price, because landowners are currently selling for perhaps 50% of the market value (that is to say the council gets about 50% of the value created from the planning permission via the s106, and the landowner gets 50%). So there would be a race to the bottom – every landowner would want to get as much of the market value as he could, but if he held out for 100% there would probably be another one nearby who would sell for 95% and so on and so forth. But the council never reduce their s106 demands. They only ever go up. There’s no competition in s106 negotiations – you have to deal with the local authority, and they can just demand X across the board, and as the monopoly supplier will largely get what they want. Now if there was a way that developers could shop around for s106 agreements, then you’re talking, there would be a market in them. A council with little development activity in their area would happily give a cheap one to a developer elsewhere, just to get some money in.

    But as it is s106 costs are a massive ‘sticky’ element of house prices, because they are utterly unaffected by any competitive forces, being a State imposed levy.

  14. But s.106 is a type of taxation of increased land value, very Georgian, shouldn’t it be supported?

    In my experience undeveloped land isn’t bastard developers land banking, it’s all the construction workers already working. Even paying more money won’t get more houses built, you’ll just steal workers from other development sites to work on your development site, leaving the other development site undeveloped instead. It’s the sort of Lord Spudcup failed thinking that just asserting that it should be developed will cause thousands of brickies to materialise.

  15. PJF. It’s constraining the supply in the face of increasing demand that causes the pension plans and corporate investors to see buying up housing as an opportunity. We’ve also now got one outfit buying up luxury homes and selling fractional interests for so many days a year, not much different from a time share.

  16. Dennis: Oppressor, Warmonger, Capitalist and Consumer of Petroleum Products

    If Arwa Mahdawi isn’t the dumbest columnist the Guardian has, she’s close.

    And that is saying something.

  17. A bit off topic from the genera theme of the article but on topic because it is in the article; what is this phrase ‘late-stage capitalism’? Do they think that capitalism is going to end?

    Actually, they probably do. Mentalists

  18. Say for example that I am a baker. I could sell a thousand loaves of bread a day at a dollar each and make a profit. However, government has decided that the price of a loaf will be one hundred dollars. Only one of my customers loves bread so much that they will pay a hundred dollars for a loaf. Upshot: nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine people a day go hungry, and I have pretty much gone out of the bread business so it’s unobtainable anyway. Am I not a supreme dick.


    Perhaps Interested, it should be ‘WE will own everything and you will be happy.’

  20. It’s constraining the supply in the face of increasing demand that causes the pension plans and corporate investors to see buying up housing as an opportunity.

    Maybe TD, but I suspect that’s part of the larger reason – rampant inflation coming. I think these outfits are investing in bricks and mortar (physical assets) to ride out money becoming worthless.

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