Stupid Boris Wants to Increase House Prices and Abolish Affordable Housing


Theresa May must slash “absurdly high” stamp duty and abandon affordable housing targets to get Britain building, Boris Johnson says today, as he brands housing “the single biggest and most urgent crisis we face”.

In his latest Telegraph column, the former Foreign Secretary warns property developers are operating an “oligopoly” by land-banking and building poor quality homes because they know first-time buyers are just grateful to get a foot on the ladder.

Of course all reducing stamp Study does, as many studies have shown and the Treasury has warned is increase house prices.   Similarly with affordable housing, it comes off the price of the land, so abolish it you increase the price of the land,

Of course May was warned this before the last budget.  That’s always the risk if you do something dumb and populist, you get outflanked by someone even dumber and even more populist. Forget the crowd-warming attacks on Persimilar homes.  That’s a diversion from lobbying from his large landowning dinner partners.

We need to tell Lefties like Sadiq Khan to stop their ideological obsession with quotas for affordable housing on each development. The reason the last Tory mayoralty (of pious memory) outbuilt Labour is that we imposed no such constraint – with the result that we got more housing built of all kinds.

Of course the last London Plan did have such a policy, but Boris was notorious for not enforcing it when under the influence of fictitious viability studies. Expecting the Conservatives to lose the Mayorality he left zero social housing funding for the year after he left office. 

The completions for 2016/2017 (the last year of Boris) were a record high, and 2017/2018 will be lower (none of the evidence base documents for the new London Plan mention this yet this as Khan has sought to delay the bad news.  There are two reasons for this.  Firstly Boris rode the peak of the boom, with many schemes deferred by the recession and developers sought to get big permissions in with low affordable housing when policy was lax.  However in terms of new build completions it made very little difference,  

As you can see from MHCLG figures for new build dwellings which however around the 20-25,000 dwellings per annum figure it has been for decades.  The difference the ‘Boris uptick’ was due to the vast increase in completions for conversions, something Boris had nothing to do with – as was was a one off due to permitted development for bad office conversions, and flat conversions, which Boris had no influence of and no policy on from flat conversions.  Incidentally the difference between the MHCLG figures on new build on the Mayors (as the MHCLG’sS don’t cover flat conversions and PD conversions) has led Brokenshire to come to the bizarre conclusion that Khan is cooking the books, clearly he hasn’t looked at his own EPC data or data on CIL receipts from permitted development flat conversions.  So we will have a bizarre argument at the next London Plan examination about whether London Housing Target should expect new build housing in London to double (as Khan wants) or triple (as Brokenshire wants) with no evidence that this land is available  (as the new NPPF requires) or that capacity for conversions (fueled by the now pricked buy to let boom) remains, most of Inner London in particular is converted out.  Fantasy land. If new build housing cannot rise above 25,000 even at the height of the last boom it certainly wont double.  London’s SHLAA assumes the difference would be made up through small sites not identified in the SHALL and not projected forward from Windfalls, which a SHLAA cannot do they are made up numbers to fill the gap between available land and need – a SHLAA an objective assessment of availability cannot magic unicorn sites thrugh handwaving assumptions, and neither can Brokenshire without naming where and how these sites can come from.  Allk of these are ducking the main issue.  Even at the peak of booms London will be building 25,000 or so less houses than it needs, where else will the 1.5-1.76 overspill houses we need fro the next 50 years go.  Try addressing that in your next column Boris..





One thought on “Stupid Boris Wants to Increase House Prices and Abolish Affordable Housing

  1. I think on the question of the of whether one should use the MHCLG annual net supply of housing figures (as required by the Housing Delivery Test guidance) or the EPC figures, as a way of measuring delivery, they both have their merits. However, I understand that the significant drawback with using EPC registrations is that they are gross figures, not net. That is particularly problematic in London. I think the important issue is one of consistency (as with the use of demographic projections). Everyone needs to adhere to a standard way of measuring performance. Government has determined that the best measure is the net supply of housing data-set released in November. This is the most reliable way of measuring what has been delivered by local planning authorities across all of England. If we think EPC registrations are better, then there could be a compelling case to make to Government. What I’m concerned to avoid is planning authorities playing jiggery-pokery with the statistics to suit short-term political ends.

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