The myth of “affordable starter homes” and why they don’t help, explained by an American!

This American business publication explains:

“… The starter homes will range on price because market pricing will depend where in the country they are being built and which builder is constructing them. The government will apply a minimum 20% discount to the house sale price for first-time buyers under 40.

The discount will then be applicable to properties worth up to £250,000 outside London, or £450,000 in the capital.

So even if you had 20% the price of a £450,000 home in the capital, people argue that this isn’t exactly “affordable” for the average Briton.

On BBC Radio 5 Live, Bogle [Paul Bogle, National Federation of Builders] pointed out that all the government’s plans to help the housing market is, in fact, making it worse in a lot of ways.

“We have a supply problem and a lot of the measurements that the government has done has focused on stoking demand,” said Bogle. “So whether it is Help to Buy for a new buy, first buy, cheaper mortgage rates and Funding for Lending for the banks that allow them to offer cheaper mortgages those will allow people to move into buying homes.

“So if you’re on the housing ladder that’s easy for you but trying to get on [the ladder], it’s going to be more difficult [because of increased demand] and your earnings aren’t increasing at the pace of house price increases.”

And Bogle has a point.

The government scheme Help to Buy means people can rustle up just a 5% deposit while the government provides up to 20% of the price of a home. This makes buying a house affordable for a whole new group of people and for those who don’t even earn that much. After all the average salary is around £30,000 ($45,360) a year.

Over the last few months, investment banks and housing experts have been warning about the huge gap between the pace of earnings growth in the UK and rate of growth in property prices.

In December last year, Liz Martins and her team at HSBC pointed out the huge gap.

So basically, everything the British government is doing right now, according to the experts, is doing absolutely nothing to help alleviate soaring prices or getting those in rented accommodation onto the housing ladder.”

http://uk.businessinsider.com/national-federation-of-builders-reasons-why-new-starter-homes-will-be-unaffordable-2016-1

South-West MEPs urge transparency on lobbying

South-West Conservative, Labour and Green MEPs have all agreed to publish details of all meetings they have in the course of their work so that any lobbying events are clearly identified and transparent:

http://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/South-West-MEPs-push-greater-transparency/story-28486427-detail/story.html

Now, all we need is all the south-west’s MPs to do the same, starting with our own MPs, Swire and Parish. Oh, and of course, councillors, particularly their meetings with developers.

Hats off to EDDC!

Yes, Owl does occasionally compliment EDDC!

Today, it is for the well-reasoned and well-explained response to proposed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework here (pages 17-30):

http://eastdevon.gov.uk/media/1441396/190116-combined-dmc-agenda-compressed.pdf

Its responses on so-called starter homes and the unrealities of them being affordable, land supply in the case of under delivery where developers drag their heels, and the use of brownfield sites which are not always the most appropriate sites to bring forward is well thought out.

If only EDDC practised what it preaches!