Home Forums Chat Forum FAO Big Hitters: How are you solving the housing crisis?

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  • FAO Big Hitters: How are you solving the housing crisis?
  • dakuan
    Free Member

    Seeing as it’s right at the top of the todo list for the new goverment and all..

    kerley
    Free Member

    Not a big hitter but who cares;

    Rent Caps

    Help to buy (i.e. giving money) to first time buyers to buy but they cannot then sell at a profit a few years later

    Build loads more houses by setting up government building company used in areas when developers are not interested due to not as much in it for them

    Override town planners and nimby crap

    5
    binners
    Full Member

    I think its a lot to do not just with numbers, but with the type of houseing being built. Round near us there have been three recent housing developments. Every one of them is 3 and 4 bedroom detatched ‘Executive’ houses with starting prices that are absolutely out of the reach of all but a tiny minority of very comfortably off people. ‘Affordable’ doesn’t even enter into it.

    So houses are being built that will do absolutely nothing to alieviate the housing crisis. This needs to stop.

    20
    tjagain
    Full Member

    1) stop selling council houses.

    2) put proper tenant protection and fair rentals in place for the private secotor

    3) give councils the money to build more property

    4) Ban second home ownership that is NOT for long term rental ie holiday cottages – guts villages

    5) make building on brownfield sites easier, make it harder on greenfield sites

    6) The never ending escalation of house prices needs a serious correction.  Dunno how to do this tho – perhaps a combination of property taxation and transaction taxation?

    Buying houses is now unaffordable for most folk.  If I was now where I was in my career 30 odd years ago I couldn’t afford to buy or even rent my own flat in Edinburgh.

    stevie750
    Full Member

    There are nearly 700,000 homes in England that are unfurnished and standing empty. Over 261,000 of these are classed as ‘long-term empty’. When we add in holiday short-lets and second homes, total vacancy sits at over 1 million homes, meaning that across England, 1 in every 25 homes is empty.

    that came from a google search so not sure if it is accurate , but give councils power to force owners to do something with them

    Also not a big hitter

    1
    Kramer
    Free Member

    Taxing landlords worked in the 60s.

    7
    whatgoesup
    Full Member

    Massively increase the costs of having second homes and buy-to-let properties.

    The buy to let market is insane – those who got in at the right time leveraging one property to buy the next and now people with several or more properties just sucking the financial life blood out of those who can’t afford to buy.

    Also DONT try and fix the situation by making low deposit mortgages etc available – this type of “help” only succeeds in pushing up the price of houses.

    4
    Daffy
    Full Member

    Stop people acquiring wealth from property.

    Cap gains tax on EVERY SINGLE HOUSE SOLD.  Houses will stop going up in price and will rise only with inflation, as they should.

    Yes, it will cripple the market temporarily, but it would almost stop 2nd homes, buy to let and many others.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    Whatgoesup – proper rent controls and protection for tenants will go a long way down that road.  Ie making it less profitable.  Straight taxation on rental income would be perfectly fair as well.

    MY tenant pays 2/3 of what a mortgage on the property would cost

    2
    DT78
    Free Member

    owning more than one property should be heavily taxed.

    being a landlord should not be so profitable or easy. i have several friends who became accidental landlords because their first house they bought went up so much in value all they had to do to buy the second was release some equity. most of these guys are looking at retiring in their mid to late 50s off a bit of luck….

    families need help with paying off existing mortgages so some sort of relief or help for those who find themselves not able to pay and are looking at a forced sell or repossession.

    oh and reform the buying and selling process in england so it doesnt take months and months and is a massive pain in the arse. really restricts peoples mobility and desire to move. this hurts the economy maybe less now more work remote.

    1
    benpinnick
    Full Member

    Yes, it will cripple the market temporarily, but it would almost stop 2nd homes, buy to let and many others.

    What effect would it have on 2nd homes, BTL etc.? They already have CGT on them. If anything it would cause more people to hold onto more property as they don’t want to pay CGT on something they might have given up otherwise.

    It would however cause an overnight jump in the price of houses. Not sure how good that would be TBH. Those that can afford a second house / BTL etc. would still be able to afford something, just maybe not so plush. It would however mean pricing out the bottom end of the market as they’d not be able to afford the now 20% more expensive starter home.

    Caher
    Full Member

    Much that’s been said above really.  Treat houses as homes and not allow them to be an investment opportunity. Build in the hollowed out town centres. Improve infrastructure.

    Not a hitter.

    2
    andrewh
    Free Member

    Remove primary residence exemption for CGT.

    .

    Stamp duty increase, but move the payment to sellers not buyers. All first time buyers are therefore exempt.

    .

    Council tax rises proportionally with number of homes owned -ie own two, it’s doubled for both, own three, it’s trebled for all three.

    .

    This one may need some working out, but links into what Stevie was on about. Some sort of compulsory purchase mechanism for private individuals to buy empty homes. For instance, if a home has been empty for (eg.) a year anyone can then apply to compulsory purchase it for a ‘fair value’ (how is that determined?) If the owner declines they have to sell it/move in a tenant within X months or it goes to auction. The buyer has to not own another property, restore it within X time period and live in it as their only house for x time period before being allowed to sell it.

    6
    Twodogs
    Full Member

    In Canada* they’ve introduced an empty homes tax, which is 3% of the property value, per annum.  To avoid paying it, you have to have long term renters (short term is banned).

    * might be BC only not all of Canada

    benpinnick
    Full Member

    In Canada* they’ve introduced an empty homes tax, which is 3% of the property value, per annum.  To avoid paying it, you have to have long term renters (short term is banned).

    If you then invest this into new social housing, that seems like a winner to me.

    1
    ji
    Free Member

    Medium term – Allow local authorities to purchase land (after consultation with local communities) for development. Costs for the initial purcahse to be subsidised, with a higher subsidy for brownfield sites. Allow local authorities to put in infrastructure for that land (roads, drains, etc) and then sell at a profit to developers and individuals who want to build their own houses. Local authorities then pay back (at least some of) the subsidies from profits. Ensure that local authorities and/or developers also include schools and medical facilities in developments here necessary.

    Longer term – Have a clear policiy of investment in cities as well as London – we are fairly unusual as a country  in only having one really big major city, and we should actively be seeking to develop larger and more economically succesful second/third tier cities

    One other idea is to look at how coastal and other isolated communities specifically can be improved as a location for people to relocate to, rather than forgotten (Skegness/CLacton/Great Yarmouth) or turned into AirBnB communities (most of Cornwall). This might include incentives for dentists, investment in schools, better broadband, some recogision that trains dont go to many of these places and there is no other decent public transport etc etc.

    soundninjauk
    Full Member

    1) stop selling council houses.

    2) put proper tenant protection and fair rentals in place for the private secotor

    3) give councils the money to build more property

    4) Ban second home ownership that is NOT for long term rental ie holiday cottages – guts villages

    5) make building on brownfield sites easier, make it harder on greenfield sites

    6) The never ending escalation of house prices needs a serious correction. Dunno how to do this tho – perhaps a combination of property taxation and transaction taxation?

    I like all these, but would also add proper leasehold reform/abolition in England and Wales.

    (EDIT: not that I’m a big hitter either…)

    1
    J-R
    Full Member

    Also DONT try and fix the situation by making low deposit mortgages etc available – this type of “help” only succeeds in pushing up the price of houses.

    This.

    5
    bensales
    Free Member

    I’d bring back the inability to borrow more than 3.5x an income on mortgage applications. No ability to join salaries either, you can only use the highest single income of a couple.

    That’d certainly bring house prices down when sellers find there no one who can borrow enough to buy.

    And yes, it would harm the value of my house.

    1
    ayjaydoubleyou
    Free Member

    Build more council properties. I’m a fan of the theory of social housing. The current implementation of it, is shockingly bad, based mainly on the lack of housing stock available to them. Anyone in receipt of benefits really should be able to get a council property if they wanted to. Otherwise its just the government paying landlords with extra steps.

    Make buying and selling houses easier. It takes how long to sell a house and move (in England). People get shafted, chains fall apart etc. Thats not only making the actual living in the house needlessly difficult and costly, its also detrimental to people downsizing to better suit their needs.

    1
    kerley
    Free Member

    Most measure will harm the value of houses as that is sort of the point.  While I can live with that as my house would need to drop by 85% to get me into negative equity there are a lot of people who have purchased in the last few years who would then be screwed.  The tough answer is they just have to stay in the house for a long time then.

    2
    HoratioHufnagel
    Free Member

    Ban banks from lending money they haven’t got.

    MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    I only made the Big Hitter shortlist and not the magazine stage (it’s OK, I’m over it now) but:

    50% stamp duty on homes that aren’t your main residence.

    End right to buy

    Ban on building of private dwellings, all new builds to be affordable social rental

    Ban on any development of greenfield sites until all brownfield sites in the council area are redeveloped.

    ji
    Free Member

    Ban on any development of greenfield sites until all brownfield sites in the council area are redeveloped.

    I get that people are concerned about developments on greenfield sites, but there are variations in these, and I think we need to be careful taht restrictions like the above will just stop all developments.

    Near me there was a proposal to redevelop a listed building into flats, and add a second block of new build flats, matching the style of the listed building on the spare land behind it. The listed building has been empty for 20+ years, and been set alight at least twice and is in danger of collapse. Planners agreed, but put a clause in that said developers had to redevelop the old site first, before building the new block. Developers said this was not economic, so despite planning being agreed for 70 ish dwellings, the place has been allowed to deteriorate even further over the past 4 years, and planning is about to lapse…

    1
    db
    Free Member

    Aren’t 95% of the things on this thread simply never going to be done as they would be unpopular with a large number of voters….?

    1
    mrbadger
    Free Member

    Treat houses as homes and not allow them to be an investment opportunity. 

    This ^

    Private landlords defend themselves by trying to make out that renting out their second  properties to those that cant afford to buy is some kind of altruistic act, but by far the key beneficiary of that arrangement is the landlord who without much effort continues to make a huge profit on their investment whilst continuing to contribute to why folks can’t afford a place of their own in the first place

    Obviously there needs to be properties available to rent as well as private ownership, but this should be through councils, not private landlords who get rich at the expense and on the back of toil of others

    I’d personally tax the hell out of anyone with a second home, regardless of whether it’s for short or long term let

    1
    5lab
    Full Member

    the market is complicated. things like rent control haven’t worked in the past, it just leads towards houses being mis-managed (doing a place up to attract more rent isn’t possible, you won’t do it up), likewise a lot of these things are fiddling round the edges – for sure second homes in a few villages can cause issues, but they also pull in income that keeps the pubs/restaurants alive. Likewise, I’m all for penalising landlords a bit more (the screw has been tightened significantly over the last decade) – and converting the odd existing brownfield site, but it won’t make much difference.

    The bottom line is supply and demand. Whats required is building a shed load more houses, in fields, in the south east (were all the jobs are), where people like walking their dogs and looking at birds, and riding bikes.

    The other approach would be to significantly tax extra, un-needed space that the older generation tend to horde by not downsizing when the kids leave the nest – this would significantly reduce the number of unused bedrooms in existance, improving the availability of housing for most.

    Jamz
    Free Member

    Stamp duty should be completely abolished to encourage movement.

    Capital gains on primary residences.

    Tax on empty dwellings.

    Land tax should be implemented to target mega rich. All land based inheritance tax dodges should be removed.

    Council tax bands fully updated. Council tax should double on second homes, treble on third homes etc.

    Leasehold and ground rents banned.

    Building upwards should be encouraged wherever possible (more flats).

    Chew
    Free Member

    Aren’t 95% of the things on this thread simply never going to be done as they would be unpopular with a large number of voters….?

    I suspect the sensible suggestions would be welcomed by 95% of the population.

    Its the loud/vocal/influential rich 5% who would be against it

    tjagain
    Full Member

    MrBadger – sounds good but just have a wee think about the situation I am in with a rental property.  MY tenant pays £500 a month LESS than it would cost her if she bought it from me – because I am lucky and in a very privileged position to be able to do this.  Force me to sell she loses her home.  Tax me highly on it I would need to put the rent up. ( as much as I am allowed here)  Both options make life worse for her.

    Rent controls for fair rents would have the effect of doing most of what you want ie leveraging properties and making huge profits would be no more – and force selloffs of those properties

    Rent controls and decent protection for renters would be my priority along with state building of decent rentals to force prices down

    dissonance
    Full Member

    Its the loud/vocal/influential rich 5% who would be against it

    For housing though you have the fundamental issue a lot more than 5% have money tied up in houses including some big mortgages.
    Deflating the market would hit those people hard.

    The only change will be if the government gets heavily involved into housing again. Changing planning laws is going to be of limited help since the big building companies will just say thanks and start building some “executive” homes where they couldnt earlier but not increase the building supply significantly. After all why should they since if they build enough to meet demand then the prices will collapse and they will make less profit.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    Deflating the market would hit those people hard.

    Only if they want to move again.  It wouldn’t push them out of the house they are in.  Its only imaginary money until you move and even then buying again in a devalued property market means they can still do so as the house they want to buy would be equally devalued.

    dakuan
    Free Member

    this is well worth a read (is long tho!) https://worksinprogress.co/issue/why-britain-doesnt-build/

    Turns out we’ve not been building enough houses for about a century now.

    2
    WorldClassAccident
    Free Member

    Remove the problem by killing 1/3rd of the population*

    *Just put me somewhere near the back of the queue for execution please

    2
    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    The problem is that the housing crisis is connected to all other crises as well. Plonking 300 new builds on a field somewhere then ties in 300 families to the cost and inconvenience of car ownership / dependence; traffic and pollution gets worse, facilities like schools, shops, doctors (and even the basics like water, sewage etc) get progressively overwhelmed and you’ve solved nothing.

    The UK has this absolute obsession with the 3-bed semi detached property but it also doesn’t have anything like the land or infrastructure to support those sort of developments. That is combined with a uniquely shit house-building practice where the lowest-possible cost identikit boxes are chucked up and then the buyers have to spend the next 15 years fixing them.

    As a starter (while not entirely connected to the lack of housing), I’d be prescribing heat pumps and solar panels for all new-builds and renovations. That alone would massively cut the actual living costs.

    Caher
    Full Member

    Just want add don’t do any of this until I’ve sold my UK home.

    Chew
    Free Member

    Deflating the market would hit those people hard

    You wouldnt want to deflate the market, as that will open up various issues. It just needs to stagnate so as wages grow, the housing wage/housing multiple recover to a reasonable ratio.

    This will be happening naturally as increased interest rates will be limiting lending multiples due to affordability, which will dampen demand/prices.

    You keep the rules on “Primary” residences the same as that affects a big percentage of the population, but keep increasing the costs of secondary home ownership, which only impact the richest.

    1
    cookeaa
    Full Member

    In no particular order my un-achievable and partisan ideas:

    1- End Right to buy

    2- LAs to have a (centrally funded) scheme to allow buy back of former social housing in their area if/when it goes on the market.

    3- Private rents to be capped proportionate to Value of the property and/or Mortgage repayments/insurance/maintenance costs, say all costs x 1.2(?). Tenants to have the right to challenge rent on this basis (Landlords will need to be able to demonstrate compliance to an ombudsman on demand).

    4a- Tax the arse off any profits landlords make from rent to coax them towards #2 and #3 above.

    4b- Include second homes put on short-term rental/hire (Air BnB or similar) under new Landlord profits tax regime.

    5- For the mid-term Working visas for construction skilled foreign hires, number of visas issued to be based on #7 below.

    6a- Apprenticeships and funding to create indigenous construction skills pool in the longer term.

    6b- Bursaries and/or grants to be created specifically for shortage Construction skills training.

    7- Housing Department to agree (and then track) annual local social housing goals (buy-backs/new-builds/renovations/etc) with each local authority based on local need. These figures are then to be published and become a metric to measure LA performance against; should help highlight councillors that enable NIMBYing, and those that take housing seriously.

    8a- Central Government to provide funding for Social housing construction schemes,

    8b- Local Authorities to be allowed to remortgage/borrow against the value of existing assets to generate funding.

    9- Planning reforms to take account of Local housing need (see #7 above) as well as environmental and local infrastructure impacts. Process to be revised so that Approvals can come with fixed conditions for developers to meet before proceeding i.e:

    Developer to fund upgrade to local roads used for access, in order to prevent congestion” or

    XXXX area of proposed housing estate to be turned over for the construction of a primary school to accommodate the additional number of children this would bring to an area“. or

    10% of homes in development to be sold direct to LA for use as social housing

    Failure to comply with conditions means project cannot proceed, asking forgiveness after the fact means big fines…

    1
    frankconway
    Full Member

    Who are these ‘big hitters’?

    2
    DT78
    Free Member

    they also should do something about property developers buying perfectly nice homes, then leaving them vacant so they decay and become a wreck to help ensure their planning permission for umpteen bedsits with zero parking gets through.

    I know several lovely family homes that have sat empty for years in my city,

    Developers should be forced to maintain and rent out, or sell on to someone who will live in it and not be able to just sit on the land.

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