House prices are up by 14.2% in rural areas and less than 7% in urban areas.
Firstly the demography – Cabinet Ministers might need to look the word up! – over the next couple of decades the number of people retiring each year will have increased by about 100000; the number of children will have decreased by about the same. Whilst life expectancy is fairly constant it is in the high 70’s. So does this have implications for housing requirements? I am not atypical, I am divorced with 3 children and 4 grandchildren. I continue to live in a 3 bedroom bungalow, alone, whilst my ex lives in a 3 bedroomed house, alone, (I think!). So that’s 4 unused bedrooms. However I can vaguely justify this. But it is an inefficiency.
The main inefficiency is down to capitalism, which theoretically, is efficient. At the moment many people, and by this I would guess at hundreds of thousands or more, have invested in second properties. Either as second homes or AirB&B in popular rural areas. Here it would seem to be false economics (well all economics is illusionary and hypothetical), to fail to put a financial tax on this. At present young people are being forced out by high property prices or the lack of long term rentable premises. The government loses out on tax revenue, local shops have to survive winter months with low population densities in the area, services like NHS and police have to cope with wildly different monthly populations,
I have benefited from house price increases that have gone from my first terraced house in Newhaven at £20000 to a property possibly worth £320000 (and my ex property value of £180000 – well she keeps moving!). But 20 grand to half a million in under a half decade, ridiculous and wrong on so many levels; socially, economically, morally, and environmentally.
So the environmental cost is the destruction of our diminishing countryside. We are told that we need more housing – a government minister said that all houses should have gardens and a garage. Well first off – garages are sheds for rubbish and unused utensils, gardens are age specific in general (or as a generalisation). As a young home occupier I was not interested in much of a garden – a communal space would have been amble, with young children a space for them to explore would be nice, but not too big as parents are too busy, then the quandary of middle age and later – I now have a garden and am quite proud of my greenhouse and mint collection!, but it is subjective.
I think – OH NO – that we have too many stereotypes in house building. Places like Polperro in Cornwall have (possibly had – if the local houses have now been sold) vibrant local communities with houses that had little more than a back yard. The pub and the water front was the focus of the community. When was the last time houses were built with consideration for the community? Or for that matter the environment – platitudes are common, but no solar panels on new houses round here, do they all have water butts, have the developers put in a communal bbq area, children play area, any social area at all?
If stupid dickwit Johnson wants new planning laws he should totally ignore developers and talk to ordinary people, not focus groups, or ….. actually ordinary people with young children and busy lives would be better off not speaking to the egoistical t*at.
There are estimated to be about 600.000 second homes in the UK, most popular tourist areas like Cornwall. With careful planning these ‘homes’ pay no council tax and contribute little to the local economy. In Cornwall last month 10.000 properties were listed for Airbnb, whilst just 62 offered for rent, and possibly 500 people homeless in Newquay alone.
Inequality like this is staggering, and in the past year there has been an increase of 258.000 millionaires in the UK (5.1 million increase worldwide). And also an increase in the number of poor. Inequality on this scale is not sustainable morally, or economically (the poor need to have enough wealth to buy products to increase the wealth of the rich. Although a thought – with high rents are we returning to a type of mortgage feudalism? Especially since the Buildings Societies have become listed companies.