Inside Housing - Downturn fails to cut land prices

Gerrard Winstanley office at
Tue Nov 25 18:41:42 GMT 2008

Downturn fails to cut land prices
Mon, 24 Nov 2008 | By Clara Story

Social housing providers in the north need better strategies to buy
land as prices remain high, an umbrella body has claimed.

The cost of land in the three northern regions has gone up by 500 per
cent since 1994, and both public and private land is proving difficult
to access for housing providers.

The Northern Housing Consortium is working on a major
government-sponsored research project on land suppy which is due to
report in March.

Policy director Charlotte Howse told the Northern Housing Summit that
land has remained expensive and social housing developers are facing
trouble with supply.

`We are not seeing land values coming down massively, I think because
we have seen such a steep increase in values they would have to come
down a lot. The strategy at the moment for developers is to offload
property first rather than land,' Ms Howse said.

`We need to think how we can compete against private developers when
values are at this high level.'

The consortium has published draft recommendations it hopes will help
the housing sector, and requested feedback over the next six weeks.

The recommendations include agreeing a regional set of methods for
assessing land availability, and encouraging public landowners to link
their land policy to local needs – as bodies like the NHS often choose
not to release land for affordable housing because they need to get
the highest price for it.

Ms Howse also called for social housing developers to target private
land, as there is only enough public land available for the next six
or seven years in the northern regions.

Local authorities could enter into joint ventures with landowners to
encourage them to release their land for development.

Ms Howse said the new Homes and Communities Agency could also help.
She asked: `Given where we are economically, can we use some of their
funds to landbank so when the upturn comes, we can then build?'
Have your say

Mandatory field Required fields | Terms and conditions
Please do not complete the following form field for security reasons.

More information about the Diggers350 mailing list