“First-time buyers left high and dry as number of cheaper homes plunges under the Tories”

“First-time buyers have been left high and dry after the number of cheaper homes plunged under the Tories.

Just 7,245 new affordable homes to buy were funded by the government last year – down from 20,298 in 2009/10.

Official figures show the number of those homes completed fell for four years in a row after the Tories took power, and hit a low point of 4,280 in 2015/16.

It comes despite Theresa May declaring in January that it was her “personal mission to restore the dream of home-ownership”.

Labour claimed 77,000 fewer affordable homes to buy had been built than if construction had continued at the 2009/10 rate. ….”


2 thoughts on ““First-time buyers left high and dry as number of cheaper homes plunges under the Tories”

  1. There never was “a dream of home-ownership”, neither under Maggie nor Theresa.

    Under Maggie the objective was social engineering for two reasons:

    1. to gain Tory voters – home owners are more likely to vote for Conservatives than council house tenants; and

    2. to reduce labour disputes – workers with mortgages were far less likely to strike and lose wage packets and put their home at risk of repossession than council tenants who were unlikely to be evicted.

    Theresa is different from Maggie though – it is, I suppose, vaguely possible that her “personal mission [is] to restore the dream of home-ownership” but restoring a dream is not the same thing as making it happen. Assuming that Theresa actually wants to make it happen as well – of which there is little evidence – the only way to make it happen would be to reverse decades of Conservative Party housing policies:

    A. The big base of council houses acted as an anchor for house prices – council house rents were low, and private landlords could only rent their properties at a small premium, and that deterred speculators becoming buy-to-let landlords which in turn kept house prices low. When the Tories decided to sell off council houses, they set the whole house-price-inflation ball rolling and to stop it would require a massive investment in building large stocks of social housing. Leaving aside the disincentives of reversing points 1. and 2. above, can you really see the Conservatives being the party to do this – even if Theresa wanted to do it (of which there is zero evidence) and had a “personal mission” to achieve it (of which there is zero evidence), there are thousands of Conservative party landlord members who would stop her, not to mention all those property-owning Conservative Party donors.

    B. Considering that the Conservatives have already handed over the reins of developing Housing Policy to developers – pretty much the same as allowing poachers to write the gamekeeping laws – it seems highly unlikely that they will wrestle control back from them and then reverse policy and stick to it long enough to have an effect. And of course those same landlord members and donors (some of whom have benefited hugely from the developers NPPF charter) are never going to allow it.

    C. Even if you assume that Theresa can get sufficient support from the rest of the Party to fixing the housing market, to actually achieve it they would actually need to have some sort of a clue about how the housing market worked and how to fix it – but all the evidence of their past and current band-aids suggest that they really have no idea of the causes of e.g. lack of house building or lack of affordable homes. For example they appear completely blind to the evidence that the public subsidies they have given developers (which is our money from our taxes) simply adds to house price inflation and ends up boosting the obscene executive bonuses paid to the senior executives of the big developers, and are all set to throw good money after bad by continuing such policies, and equally blind to the evidence that e.g. subsidies for first time buyers are actually going to the already well off (Tory voters) rather those who they claim it is intended for (Labour voters).

    Indeed, I challenge anyone to point to a single piece of solid evidence that Theresa’s “mission” is anything more than hot air. The headlines in recent months are all about doing more of the same failed policies – there is not a shred of evidence to the contrary that would give the slightest hint that her “mission” has any basis in reality.

    All of the above assume that Theresa actually has a genuine “mission” to fix the housing economy without wrecking the entire economy (which is now so tied to existing house prices – and the large mortgage loans would create a banking crisis if house price inflation were reversed) – it seems far more likely that this is just another one of “the Maybot’s” often-quoted slogans like “strong and stable” or “let me be clear” or “we understand the issue” (but haven’t got a clue how to fix it).

    Conservatives – for the few insiders not the gullible many.


    • P.S. As I have said before, if we assume that Theresa’s “mission” is indeed a pipe-dream, and if we look at what is actually happening, the likely future looks somewhat different to her “dream of home ownership”. The reality is that:

      1. Young people today have little hope of owning their own homes – the wages for the young are typically low (minimum wage, gig economy etc.). AI and robotics are likely to impact the repetitive jobs that these young people have, so it is the young that are more likely to be hit by the unemployment that these will bring

      2. These same young people are far less likely to inherit a legacy from the value of their parents or grandparents house ownership when they die – their parents and grandparents will have used up the equity in their own homes to fund the social care they will need in old age. So the “traditional” source of capital for a deposit for young people to get onto the housing ladder is gone.

      The end result is that within a generation, 95% of the population are likely to be renting their homes. Of the remaining 5% who own their home, 4 out of 5 of these are likely to own only their own home and not be landlords themselves (directly or indirectly). In other words, 95% of the population will rent their homes from 1% of the population. THE GAP IN LAND OWNERSHIP HAS NOT BEEN THIS BIG SINCE FEUDAL TIMES when the local Lord of the Manor owned all the housing and the serfs rented from them.

      The only real conclusion that you can draw from this is that it is an UNSTATED Conservative Party policy (which, remember, are dictated by Conservative Party donors who threaten to withdraw their future donations if they don’t get the policies they want) TO TAKE BRITAIN BACK TO A FEUDAL SOCIETY.

      Now ask yourself this – does this really seem so unlikely to be Conservative Party policy based on their track record over the last 40 years? Or is it entirely plausible despite their denials?


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