This month’s Census confirms a seismic shift in the way we are living. With homeownership falling, we have to reform the rental market to make it a decent place to live.
The imagery and the towns change, but the theme of party conferences is always the same: we are the party looking out for YOU.
The British public, in aggregate, paid down existing mortgages over the month, rather than taking on new home borrowing.
Does this matter for the wider economy? Interesting the OBR suggested in March that it does not.
If the Chancellor had cut less on infrastructure and housing, other things being equal, construction would not have fallen by the same degree, GDP growth in the first quarter would have been flat, and Britain would not now be in a double dip recession.
So Boris is back, and with yesterday’s news that tenants are being evicted by unscrupulous landlords ahead of the Olympics, housing issues are already at the fore of the agenda. And what an agenda. Rachmanesque rentiers aside, the government’s reforms have unwittingly created a toxic policy mix that is a ticking time bomb – one with a short fuse, at that: detonation 2013.
“China is undeniably growing. Driving North from Beijing, you can see miniature cities trying to spring up in the form of clusters of 25 storey residences in various stages of completion, etching civilization into the mountainous landscape.
If you want to live in the true heart of London then set your sights on Brixton. Although it’s sometimes in the news for the wrong reasons, it has a vibrancy and community spirit all of its own…
The cliché count is usually a reliable indicator of intellectual quality (see The Banned List), in which case the Government’s “housing strategy” (pdf) is a stinker. The title, Laying the Foundations is bad enough: a gerund, which is itself a cliché, and a cliché. It says it is a “radical and unashamedly ambitious strategy”, promises to “kick-start [...]
Spend £18.5m of public cash on making 86 gypsy families homeless, while proposing to combat homelessness with caravans? I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
Landlords are gouging tenants because they can. The demand for rental properties is high because young people cannot get the finance to buy. And there’s severe restrictions on the supply of new rental properties.
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