[Diggers350] housing and land monopoly

Stuart Hodkinson s.n.hodkinson at leeds.ac.uk
Tue Oct 19 21:47:42 BST 2010


Halving the social housing fund is not, in itself, going to kickstart a property boom.

While we might think that a lack of 'social housing' and housing in general will create the scarcity problems that cause price rises - and this is the case for London - general house price inflation is going to need the return of easy credit which isn't on the cards - without access to mortgages, there will be far less house sales and there will be far less liquidity in the system to push up house prices. 

Social Housing Grant was mainly awarded to Housing Associations to match-fund private borrowing.

I would now expect the big housing associations (RSLs) to simply gobble up all the small and medium size RSLs and borrow against their assets / future rental streams to build.

So, it is wrong to assume that there will be no social housing built - you must also remember that local authorities will also be - apparently - allowed to borrow against their rental streams to build council housing in the near future through the reform of housing finance that Labour started before it lost power.

What IS CLEARLY HAPPENING is a rise in private rental values as first time buyers fail to buy and low social housing supply pushes people into the private rental sector.

The housing benefit reforms will dampen this, but the impact on people will be horrendous.

There is also the question of local housing markets in which the boom never ended, or the bust never ended.

I would predict (famous last words) that the impact of the public sector cuts, a potential new recession, peak oil, rising food and energy prices etc will mean an end to business-as-usual boom-and-bust and just bust. So the idea that the housing market will simply revive is a dangerous one.


From: Diggers350 at yahoogroups.com [Diggers350 at yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of james armstrong [james36armstrong at hotmail.com]
Sent: 19 October 2010 21:30
To: diggers
Subject: [Diggers350] housing and land monopoly

David Cameron announced to-day  he is  halving the  Social Housing Fund. Saving money is the excuse, the real  plan is to restart the  mad rise of house prices.

This is a continuation of the Gordon Brown, Bank of England  macro-economic policy
-the only kid on the block- Which caused and burst the inevitable housing bubble.

The continuing strategy is to substitute a growing UK financial  sector for the post War collapsed UK trade and industrial sectors.

To get economic growth in UK  the method selected  is to boost  consumer spending financed by a credit boom.  Inflated house prices are the  ‘assets’ which act as collateral for the credit . This is  the sub prime mortgage scandal resurrected.

We are back to the beginning of  boom and bust again.

Specifically   the policy is , create a shortage of houses (everyone needs one) . -by  decreasing supply of new houses (the Big Builders are co-operating here)  and turning out- ejecting - council house tenants. By doing this  you swell the  demand for buying houses.
If the supply is static or falling (down to a record low supply of 160,000 new houses in 2009) The price inevitably increases.

You could think of it as another form of Quantitative Easing -  inventing money- this time by artificially inflating the value of houses.

You can’t beat the system by building your own -  there’s monopoly control of the land for building  on , operated (see Barker p 81) by the plc housebuilders . Farmers are the only other group who can build- since they own land- many houses are built on agricultural land.
At Poundbury, the Duchy of Cornwall has built  or (currently is not building) some 2,500  permissioned houses on Poundbury Farm and Middle farm. The Duchy’s  Fordington Farm was built-over many years ago- but the  farmhouse still stands forlorn amidst another 500 houses. .

 Farmers  account for a surprising number of self build ) facilitated because they already  own land and have agricultural privileged permission.
 The corall gate is closed by the planning laws which restrict building outside the areas already designated and where the  big plc builders have snapped up all the sites long ago to hold in landbanks and boast about in their balance sheets.

The planning regime was specifically introduced to regulate the expected boom in housebuilding after WW11 and the Council House building boom.  When building numbers drop off, and council houses are no longer funded and plc housebuilders have long ago learned to snap up all the designated land,  the effects of the planning regime go into reverse . Planning laws now support the monopoly instead of regulating the  boom.

Farmers are also rewarded big time and secretly with C.A.P. payments annually. The Duchy gets a cheque from C.A.P. for £417,000 and rising each year. They exploit the land monopoly in this way too.

Publicising and ending the The Land monopoly and its malign effects on housing and farming and politics is  the key to beating the system.
Exploiting the people through monopolizing land  is the common theme of history ,so should not be surprising.  Property qualification for voting was the rule until 1875.  Bulk property owning was the qualification for membership of the oldest House of Parliament- the Lords – until 2000 and for membership of both Houses and for voting till well into the eighteenth century.
The land monopoly and rigging the housing market is a breach of human rights.
We should  support a test case contesting a repossession on these grounds.  James

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