So What If Houses Go up in Price?
My understanding is that the very top end of the market consists of a very few percentage points of the total housing stock, though due to being very over valued a large part of the value. The number of >£10million houses is still small, the number of >£5million is larger but still small, it is only when you come down to the >£500,000 that numbers are large enough to matter with the number of <£500,000 houses being almost as small as those >£10million. To blame the super expensive houses for the housing shortage is plain stupid.
The argument then shifts to 'if builder could not build >£10million house and flats they would start building crappy little <£250,000 flats, no they would not; they would stop building all together. What is needed is something to stop the famine of building land and building permits that currently exists. That can only be achieved by a devaluation of both the land and the permits. In effect flooding the place with both, so that buildings can be created in sufficient quantity and at a sufficient price to mop up the demand. Yet this can be done as I have found since I returned to the country some years back. After working for many years outside of the UK where sometimes I did 18 hour days on the trot I came back in urgent need of a new house. I bought a new build outside of London and sold the previous small place I had owned- it was not possible to fit my family into the old place. The planning permission for the 'new build' had been contested as it lay on the edge of the town, but as ex-war department land there was no bar to re-cycling the land. Since then a number of other small scale builds have been completed, a filling station site now has >60 flats, an old pub will have perhaps 10 chicken coups and a burnt out work shop was replaced by half a dozen or more new, tiny houses. In fact, the trend to re-cycle land is seeing a number of larger properties being replaced by impractical tiny residences, which after a few years need to sprout loft extensions or other space generating warts. A side effect of planning moves to encourage smaller dwellings.
Is this the end of space as we know it in the area? No, there is still probably the equivalent of 10% of the built area, perhaps more that is currently derelict brownfield or otherwise blighted land. So now we have the other limitations, transport, water sewerage, schooling and power. Just like London we have the issue of ageing and failing ground plant exploding and causing power cuts
Oh I forget another 50 or 60 dwellings were recently built on ex school land - no not the playing fields as such, some very uneven land to the side of the school plot and near to the road.
So in spite of any nimby effect the town has built perhaps an average of >50 new dwellings per year, with the greatest rush of building in the last 3~4 years. However, this is the recent record; go back to the 1980s when industry was dying and the once great industrial engines that built the district were ending and the suitable buildings were converted to flats. The unsuitable ones were bulldozed and replaced by hundreds of flats. So where once wooden aeroplane parts were built, now later generations can sleep peacefully
None of these were intended for or sold to absentee owners and while some do now fetch well over £500,000, many still fall well below that level. Most have between excellent, very good or good access to rail 'services' into London. Using brown field sites the town had quite likely increased its population by between a third and a half in 30 years, so expansion on brown field land is highly possible and at far more 'affordable prices'.
This is considered and expensive area, my daughter recently bought a house in the adjacent town for less than £160,000, OK that is considerably more than the <£20,000 we paid for our first house in the 1970s, but the value of money has been wreaked, not by bankers, but by 'spend what you like' politicians.
As I remember it we had rent controls in the past and we also had slum landlords to go with those controls, the name Rackman comes to mind.
So, it is wise to repeat failed experiments and expect a different answer: NO!
Is it better to discover what works and how it can be improved, now that is difficult. (The answer is YES by the way.
As a final shot, I guess my house has more than doubled in value since I bought it, so what?
It will mean more IHT but that is of questionable value to me, in fact the increase in value of the house is more of a disadvantage than a benefit; discuss.