Debate Magazine

Reader's Letter Of The Day (2)

Posted on the 01 September 2016 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth

Another letter which is not remarkable in itself, anybody who bothers to look at the numbers knows it, what is remarkable is that it is from Civitas, a fairly right wing Home-Owner-Ist lobbying group/think tank.
From today's The Evening Standard:
Rohan Silva is right to draw attention to the shortage of affordable housing in London but he is mistaken about its cause.
There is no shortage of land with planning permission for residential development as he suggests. Councils [in London] are approving in the region of 50,000 new homes for development each year - right in line with what most economists think London needs to keep up with demand.
The real challenge lies in getting those sites built on much more quickly once permission is granted. This is being frustrated by speculative land traders siting tight in anticipation of further price rises, and developers who drip-feed new homes onto the market so as to maximise sales prices.
Daniel Bentley, Civitas.

Observation tells us that in the medium term, additional supply creates its own demand and the overall effect is to push up rents and prices, but his point stands.

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