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    • CommentAuthorcjard
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2017 edited
     
    Is it worth sticking an oar in?

    https://planningjungle.com/wp-content/uploads/Fixing-our-broken-housing-market-White-Paper-February-2017.pdf

    the summary, inasmuch as I have read, is "Britain needs more homes to drive market prices down so the cashier in your local spar can afford a house on her meagre wage. We must batter local councils into permitting development of more cheap homes built faster"

    My concern is "Fast,cheap,good. Pick 2"

    Is there any part of this consultation proposal that considers building better homes, not Barrett lash ups? I haven't read it all, 106 pages.. I've gotta get the day moving..

    If it's a consultation, is it a good opportunity to raise he point that Part F needs to be sorted out, or will it just fall on the stony ground beside the "must build a shit ton of homes"* expressway


    *or words in a similar order
  1.  
    One of the problems of "more homes to drive market prices down so the cashier in your local spar can afford a house on her meagre wage" is what happens to those who are mortgages up to the hilt and then lots of cheap houses get on the market. OK lots of cheap houses aren't going to happen overnight, but then mortgages don't get cleared overnight either and with wages fairly stagnant any attempt to drive down the market price will cause grief for many.
    Posted By: cjardMy concern is "Fast,cheap,good. Pick 2"
    +1
    What is not needed is more ticky-tacky boxes

    But I don't have a ready solution readily to hand other than fixing the broken, not fit for purpose planning system as a starting point.

    BTW over here the planning rules have just changed this year. - You no longer need planning permission for a house (or extension to a house) if it totals less than 300m2 (Although there are restrictions on the %age of the plot that can be built on. Building regs are still needed. I guess time will tell what this produces, although there aren't estates of identical boxes built 20 to the acre over here, the houses are more individual.
    • CommentAuthorJohn Walsh
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2017
     
    On the issue of building more homes, not sure where the stats are but, from memory, since the 1950s private sector housebuilding has been within the 150k to 200k range. In the periods when building has reached viable levels it has been because of council and housing association building.

    Given that the private sector has never been able to satisfy demand, the political elephant in the room is that, at a time when councils could very easily raise the funds to build houses, the Government will not allow that. Instead, as the Government proposals state, the role of councils is restricted to planning matters so that the private sector will then, as if by magic, build enough homes. And, only with energy efficiency measures if it doesn’t make homes more expensive (see para 1.50).

    In short, it’s the ideology of the free market writ large (neoliberalism if you like), but they are in Government so that's what we get ...
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2017 edited
     
    The thing with trilemmas are that they assume a consistent context. So "Fast,cheap,good, pick two" is relative to the current context of house building.

    I think if we stepped back and reconsidered how houses are built from conception then we could probably provide better housing, faster and cheaper. The trilemma would still exist - it would still be a case of picking two, but all attributes would be improved.

    WRT housing quality, we have lost the argument and continue to be ignored, because our voices do not influence politics - baby boomers' (in general) do, with their house pricing fetish and their brain-dead worshipping of unfettered markets borne out of the economics 101 course they once attended (they skipped 201 which starts "actually, it's complicated...").
    • CommentAuthorskyewright
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2017 edited
     
    Posted By: gravelldbaby boomers' (in general)

    Good job you added that caveat. I'd guess that there are a good number of baby boomers on GBF...
    <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_boomer> says "approximately between the years 1946 and 1964.". I for one am comfortably inside that bracket.

    Edit to fix markup.
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2017
     
    Yes, of course in general. I would imagine *most* of the forum are baby boomers, but I wouldn't include them in the above.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2017
     
    Posted By: gravelld201 which starts "actually, it's complicated..."
    and 301 which starts "actually it's statistical cleverness in service of ideology"
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2017
     
    I think that's PPE 301, not Econ 301 :wink:
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2017
     
    When Smith, Marx, Keynes, Eisenstein can use the same world-data and statistical techniques to create 4 radically opposed, indeed warring theories, never resolved over 170yrs by later 'scientific' understanding - then I think Economics' claim even to 'social science' status is tosh.
    It's a highly refined/skilled tool of Politics, Philosophy maybe.

    I cringe when they wheel on an 'Economics Expert' that we're supposed to accept as authoritatively, dispassionately scientific.
    • CommentAuthorgyrogear
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2017 edited
     
    Posted By: fostertomEconomics' claim even to 'social science' status is tosh


    +1

    Economics is about as scientific as trying to plan the path of a falling leaf through falling raindrops (i.e. futile eyewash...) (even if only for the fact that it singularly fails, in all of its hypotheses, to take into account the greed of corrupt bankers and the corrupt and self-serving nature of their greedy politican mates...)

    gg
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2017
     
    Keynes said "... the astonishing belief that the nastiest motives of the nastiest men somehow or other work for the best results in the best of all possible worlds" or if he didn't http://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/02/23/capitalism-motives he should have!
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2017
     
    How cheap do houses have to be?...

    Wage data here from 2014..
    https://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/mar/25/uk-incomes-how-salary-compare
    ..suggests that a couple in say the second decile (bottom 20%) income bracket have a combined income of between 17,100 and 26,800.

    The maximium you can borrow is about 5 times income so such a couple can afford a mortgage of between £85,500 and £134,000.

    The Riab say that a 3 bed house should be larger than 93sqm.

    Lets allow the builder 10% profit so the total cost of construction and land would have to be around £77,000 to £120,600.

    That works out at between £828/sqm and £1296/sqm (£82-£129/sqf).
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2017
     
    Two things:

    Pricing is based on cost of production plus some profit in very few markets, certainly not housing.

    Other thing, where can you get 5x multiple mortgage? Thought it was back to 3-3.5x.
    • CommentAuthorringi
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2017
     
    You forget the cost of the land, roads, utilities, schools, parks, community centers etc that the developers are also required to pay for.
    • CommentAuthorJohn Walsh
    • CommentTimeMar 18th 2017 edited
     
    Oh yes ringi, sorry, you're right, the costs that developers have to bear have to be remembered. After all, this is a profit making exercise. Section 106 is a fact of life - if the numbers stack up we'll go ahead. If not we won't. That's the basics of the monetisation of housing policy - the homeless need to get up to speed (have I got this right ringi?).
  2.  
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: ringi</cite>You forget the cost of the land, roads, utilities, schools, parks, community centers etc that the developers are also required to pay for.</blockquote>


    Whilst these add on costs have to be paid for perhaps loading them onto a new house is not the best place. What puts these costs onto society is not the new house but the increase in population. Dumping these costs onto those who want to own their own home will (does) stop some from being able to afford the new houses, whilst at the same time lets off those who buy a second-hand home or move in with parents or rent.

    If these cost were seen as an issue for society to fund because they are only a result of the general population increase rather than the fault of the prospective new home owner then perhaps a different funding source (taxation?) could be found. I would venture to suggest that the shortfall in infrastructure is not the fault of those buying the new home but rather the responsibility of immigrants and those having babies.

    What about a Section 106 on immigrants and babies - after all they cause the housing shortage.:devil::devil: (At this point I think I will duck!!)
    • CommentAuthorringi
    • CommentTimeMar 18th 2017
     
    Schools etc need to be close to the new homes, often school in other areas where the older homes are used by people "post children" are being closed. The peak demand for primary schools are a few years after a new area of housing has been built, often the demand never gets get to the peak level again, as area becomes more "mixed" by the time of the 2nd generation of children.

    So unless you have a way to make people "post children" move to the areas of new homes, to free up homes near the schools without enough children......

    But we do need a way to stop farmers profiting from "planning gain" where they are able to sell fields for new homes.... A farmer selling a field for housing makes about the same profit as the developer, but has none of the risks of building, or the homes not selling.
  3.  
    Posted By: ringiBut we do need a way to stop farmers profiting from "planning gain" where they are able to sell fields for new homes....

    Surely that is simple, what creates the profit is, IMO, the planning system. A developer picking up a piece of land and then getting PP or a home owner getting PP for the bottom of their garden both make an (what I consider) unreasonable profit. Why? Because the planning system unreasonably restricts applications, which creates a shortage which then drives up the price.

    I am not talking about desirable sites, which like any product sites will vary in value, but the ransom quantities of money demanded because any site that has a piece of paper stamped by a public servant giving outline PP. But then of course starts the game of getting detailed PP with all the hoops that involves - what a nonsense !!
  4.  
    Posted By: ringiSo unless you have a way to make people "post children" move to the areas of new homes, to free up homes near the schools without enough children......

    The same thing applies to jobs - often houses are in the wrong place for a whole bunch of historical reasons, but it remains that the planning system frustrates any attempt to fix the problems.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeMar 18th 2017
     
    If you want lower prices, stop buying. The price of housing will soon fall.

    One of the problems is that we have a lot of cash in the economy. A lot of this is from the quantative easy policy we implicated in 2008 and is still ongoing.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeMar 20th 2017 edited
     
    Posted By: Peter_in_Hungarythe shortfall ... [is] the responsibility of immigrants and those having babies.
    Traditionally such increase in population has more than paid for itself in any moderately viable national economy, diluting the per-head cost to society of infrastructure.

    What's changing right now with steepening effect, is that humans in general are less and less needed as components of the economy - the common thread of succesful new business models is the replacement of human labour by robots, replacement of human mid-management admin/design/back-office by algorithms and in due course replacement of human top management and bankers. Businesses will work better and better, in terms of profits and share price, the less humans are involved and the 'true laws' of economics can run undistorted by human foibles!

    So increase in population now loses its beneficial effect on national economies, as traditionally defined, and becomes an increasing per-head burden on the generators of tax revenue, which means businesses if humans are less and less earning taxable wages.

    Put another way, if cost of infrastructure is an increasing burden on 'society', it's the most modern, human-eliminating industries that should bear the cost, via taxation.
    • CommentAuthorArtiglio
    • CommentTimeMar 21st 2017
     
    The economic issues behind the cost of housing , earnings , standards of living and national infrastructure are all out of kilter as a result of the policys we've pursued.
    You can't have a large , low skilled, low paid workforce ( often dependent on tax credits etc) AND a modern efficient health service, education system, affordable decent housing and good infrastructure.
    A recent article ( telegraph I believe) suggested that the UK has an imbedded national investment of around £130k per person, at the suggested levels of population growth this requires around £65 billion of investment per annum.
    To achieve the standard of living we aspire to we reallyneed to be a smaller population, better educated, higher earning.
    ie, instead of SportsDirect employing hundreds of workers to manually pick orders, it would be better if 50 highly skilled (well paid) engineers looked after an automated warehouse. If repeated across the whole economy, the demand for services provided by the state would be much reduced, tax income per capita would be increased, etc etc. However we have gone for the easy fix of boosting GDP by supplying endless cheap labour. As a result GDP increases notionally year on year, whilst at the same time per head of population the economy is effectively shrinking, so there is less to invest. As a result indirect taxation is the method used to keep things going.
    All a bit of a mess, assuming that is we want the standard of living to rise.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeMar 21st 2017 edited
     
    Agree in principle except one vital component left out.

    If SportsDirect employs 50 well paid automation-technicians instead of hundreds of low paid order pickers, what are the latter supposed to do - crawl away and die, as not needed in the economy? 'Get on their bike' and find another non existent job?

    Wait until multifold growth provides hundreds more high-paid automation-technician jobs? That is what conventional economic wisdom relies on - the belief that rising 'productivity' generates such growth that even more jobs are created than it eliminates. With the present new phenomenon of 'hyper-productivity', that no longer applies, if it ever did.

    Society has hardly even begun to think how to distribute purchasing power into pockets, other than by (now disappearing) waged work. To even mention any alternative produces furious ideological backlash.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeMar 21st 2017 edited
     
    Posted By: fostertomwhat are the latter supposed to do - crawl away and die, as not needed in the economy? 'Get on their bike' and find another non existent job?
    Generally what happens is that new markets emerge. I can't tell you what they are, but they will emerge. There will be growth in the leisure markets as well as hospitality.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeMar 21st 2017 edited
     
    That has been the conventional wisdom - the expected result of 'productivity'.

    As I say that no longer applies, when mere 'productivity' is being overwhelmed by 'hyper productivity', by which all up to date 'dispruptive' companies maximise the elimination of humans from payrolls, via rototisation/algorithmisation. This thrust, enabled by 'the digital revolution' is spreading fast, right across the board. It's quite different from traditional incremental productivity improvement - this is systematic, complete elimination of humans. However much growth in these new companies, that just speeds the elimination, the reverse of creating new jobs. No job, not even intensive-human ones like hospitality, caring for the aged, not even top bosses and bankers, are safe from this - the threshold keeps creeping wider and higher.

    Posted By: fostertomSociety has hardly even begun to think how to distribute purchasing power into pockets, other than by (now disappearing) waged work. To even mention any alternative produces furious ideological backlash.
    • CommentAuthorArtiglio
    • CommentTimeMar 21st 2017
     
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: fostertom</cite>Agree in principle except one vital component left out.

    If SportsDirect employs 50 well paid automation-technicians instead of hundreds of low paid order pickers, what are the latter supposed to do - crawl away and die, as not needed in the economy? 'Get on their bike' and find another non existent job?

    Wait until multifold growth provides hundreds more high-paid automation-technician jobs? That is what conventional economic wisdom relies on - the belief that rising 'productivity' generates such growth that even more jobs are created than it eliminates. With the present new phenomenon of 'hyper-productivity', that no longer applies, if it ever did.

    Society has hardly even begun to think how to distribute purchasing power into pockets, other than by (now disappearing) waged work. To even mention any alternative produces furious ideological backlash.</blockquote>

    My point was more to do with the unrestricted inward flows of cheap labour from the eu etc, whilst the availability of cheap labour encourages new employmemt ( as if the business fails the staff can be laid off which is much cheaper than investment in technology) the down side is cheap labour does not provide enough added value / tax revenue to support the lifestyles we have become used to and the improvements we wish to see.
    As things stand we are heading towards ever greater social division and for the vast majority decreased share of total wealth, which is hardly what most of us wish for.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeMar 21st 2017
     
    So everybody having a baby should be taxed £130K for the privilege :devil: Then we could pay for the infrastructure they need. Presumably anybody dying gets refunded their £130K since they're no longer using the infrastructure? :shocked:
    • CommentAuthorArtiglio
    • CommentTimeMar 21st 2017
     
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: djh</cite>So everybody having a baby should be taxed £130K for the privilege<img src="/newforum/extensions/Vanillacons/smilies/standard/devil.gif" alt=":devil:" title=":devil:"></img>Then we could pay for the infrastructure they need. Presumably anybody dying gets refunded their £130K since they're no longer using the infrastructure?<img src="/newforum/extensions/Vanillacons/smilies/standard/shocked.gif" alt=":shocked:" title=":shocked:"></img></blockquote>

    Not at all, merely demonstrating the inbalance in our current economic model, along with over reliance on historic infrastructure. It's pretty much unsustainable to house,heal,teach,provide gas/water/electric to an acceptable standard on what is effectively a reducing tax take per capita. So instead the cost of what we consume increases and services we receive deteriorate, we're currently going backwards.
    The accounts have been fiddled with things like the private finance initiatives, quantative easing and negative real interest rates, goverments each hue have sold off assetts and encouraged massive foreign investment, such that whole tranches of income earnt in the UK has little benefit here.
    Its taken 70? Years ( the baby boom generation that has given us the population demographic we currently have and which we keep being told underlies the current predicament) yet despite the numbers being there the whole time we've managed to fail to effectively plan for the changes.
    Interesting times lay ahead. Unfortunately energy efficiency of new homes will be of minor interest to the powers that be, hence the shelving of the zero carbon goal.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2017
     
    Posted By: djhSo everybody having a baby should be taxed £130K for the privilege
    I think they may already be, on average.
    I often see and read things about the cost of bringing up kids. Somewhere around £250,000.
    We pay about 65% tax overall, so that will be £162,500, not far off the £130,000.
    Not having had kids, I want to know where my money is!

    Posted By: fostertomThat has been the conventional wisdom - the expected result of 'productivity'.

    As I say that no longer applies, ............ the threshold keeps creeping wider and higher.
    Another way to look at it is to imagine that all your basic needs are catered for, either through a universal wage or free goods and services. Then ask yourself what you would do with your time.
    You could sit in front of the telly, lay in bed, take up a hobby, do some interesting research.
    Then ask if you want any recognition for this, it could be an extra slice of cake, some cash, or a 'like' on the interweb. Bitcoins are created by people making computers that solves problems, nothing is actually 'made', but the knowledge may be useful. The time is rewarded though.
    So imagine that I have a deep-seated desire to be the best cake maker in Cornwall. I spend time learning how to make a cake, I promote my cake making skills and eventually make a cake and let others try a slice.
    If these people then think it is the best cake, they vote me up to be the winner.
    I get a prize, 15 minutes of fame (or a bit longer for some people) and then go back to my old life (or not).
    Without the pressure of having to do a traditional job (food production is pretty well automated these days, I saw a pizza making machine 25 years ago), and with all my basic needs catered for, the adulation for being the best cake maker in Cornwall should make me happy (I wonder if there is a TV series in this, which is diversifying).

    There seems to be a lot of social science in what happens when people do not work. But they are generally comparing working against trying to live off the state in its current form. Given the choice between scrimping and saving for my basic needs or doing a minimum wage job, I know which I would prefer. But given the choice of not scrimping and saving and being forced to do a job that I am not suited to, in a placce with job insercurity, is a totally different kettle of fish.

    The series Black Mirror explored alternative futures.
    15 Million Merits was one of drudgery and Nosedive one of social 'likes'. Worth watching.
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2017 edited
     
    ST, your main para (about the joys of cake making) hits the nail on the head, although I'm not sure which way your rhetorical choice of terms is pointing, for you.

    In a world where
    Posted By: SteamyTeaall your basic needs are catered for, either through a universal wage or free goods and services
    a lot of people would indeed joyfully settle for that - as long as 'cake making' includes the full range from the trivial to the most lofty/active/wise/innovative/influential activity. Others (those with unstoppable entrepreneurial urge) would do that thing - though studies show that to such people, making a fortune is the least important part of it. Others would act like couch potatoes.

    i.e. all pretty much as today, except de-coupled from the little technicality of making all that into the sole respectable way of putting spending money into pockets.

    Again, I'm not sure which way your last 2 paras point, for you.
   
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