There is a good case for stronger regulation, perhaps even abolition. But a one-sided view of the rights and obligations of property isn’t it.
It quashes the housing market, reduces labour mobility and inescapably reduces the number of transactions. This is not contested: the Treasury accepts the point in its modelling.
The Council set planning targets for new housing that were too low and still failed to meet them. The underlying source of the eye-watering prices is due to demand and supply.
Perhaps it won’t be until it’s their children and grandchildren who can’t afford anywhere to live that the penny finally drops.
London needs at least 66,000 new homes a year, whilst the current mayor’s plan only sets a target of 52,000 – a target he is failing to meet.
Much talk about the “painful choices” of spending cuts and tax increases. But releasing surplus public sector land to provide a million new homes a year, for five years, offers a way out.
The Government’s Rent a Room Scheme enables households to earn up to £7,500 per year tax-free from letting out furnished accommodation in their homes. The threshold is too low for London.
Rent freezes, tax relief on mortgage interest payments, and targeted aid to pensioners all need to be on the table.
Commonhold sounds attractive in theory, but the lesson from Scotland is that it is the wrong solution for large blocks.
The shock-absorber is a looser fiscal policy. Although the budget deficit is higher than one would like, the good news is that it is falling sharply.
The first part of a ConHome series this week on housing and planning in the wake of the Queen’s Speech.