London unsold homes numbers jump – wrong homes in wrong places and Brexit uncertainty blamed

Domino effect?

“London’s stock of completed but unsold homes has surged by almost half this year as Brexit uncertainty and affordability issues dog the housing market.

The number in the capital jumped to 2,374 units as of Sept. 30, the most on record and up from 1,595 at the end of 2017, according to data compiled by Molior London. The borough with the biggest stockpile is Wandsworth, an area that borders the River Thames, followed by Croydon, an outer borough in the south of the city.

Some of this excess has built up because it’s the wrong product at the wrong pricing for what people want to, and can afford to buy,” said Tim Craine, founder of the property research firm. “For the rest, it’s a case of bad timing due to the lull in the market that’s come about due to Brexit.”

Britain’s housing market is slowing after a multi-year boom as the U.K.’s impending divorce from the European Union weighs on sentiment and prices remain out of reach for many potential buyers. It now takes the average Londoner 14.5 times their annual salary to purchase a home, the highest multiple ever, according to Hometrack.

Homebuilders fell on Tuesday, led by Barratt Developments Plc, which dropped 2.2 percent as of 10:59 a.m. in London, while Taylor Wimpey Plc slipped 2 percent. Both were among the 25 worst performers in the benchmark FTSE 100 Index. Crest Nicholson Holdings Plc fell 2.1 percent.

Overseas buyers from Asia to the Middle East piled into London property in recent years as a weak pound and price gains made the capital’s real estate an attractive investment. Developers began building higher-end homes to capitalize on that demand, and many have been left holding empty units as foreign investment dwindles amid a rise in property taxes.

Asking prices for U.K. homes fell for the first time since 2011 in October, data from Rightmove show, with prices declining the most in the center of London. Asking prices dropped 0.2 percent overall, while in Greater London, they declined 2.4 percent annually. Homes located within London’s Zone 1 area lost the most, with a 6.9 percent retreat on the year to an average of 1.3 million pounds ($1.7 million).”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-20/london-s-stockpile-of-unsold-homes-jumps-almost-50-to-a-record

Sidford Business Park: Traffic action group to reveal survey results at public meetings on 21 November 2018

Sidbury Traffic Action Group (STAG) is hosting a meeting in which the results of a traffic survey will be announced.

The survey focused on electronic speed and traffic movement and was part of ongoing concerns over drivers not sticking to the enforced speed limits.

Also at the meeting, the group will discuss the establishment of a speed watch group that will work in conjunction with the police.

There will be information about the group’s recent discussions with Devon County Council.

Finally, the group will reveal where it will go next in their pursuit for 20mph flashing signs.

The group launched a campaign in April urging people to ‘kill their speed and not villagers’.

Members of the group have concerns with cars breaking the speed limits in the town.

The meeting will take place in Sidbury Village Hall on November 21 at 2 and 7pm.”

http://www.sidmouthherald.co.uk/news/sidbury-traffic-action-group-to-reveal-survey-results-at-public-meeting-1-5781477

“IRONY ALERT: Former Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey on her income cut”

“Hypocrisy in British politics comes as no surprise to your mole, who has recently had to report on Brexiteers with second homes in Europe, the Mail discovering closed borders are bad, and liberals defending the gulag. But this latest IRONY ALERT has slapped it right in the snout.

Esther McVey, the recently resigned Secretary of State for Work & Pensions overseeing Universal Credit’s disastrous roll-out, has tweeted to the general public about her lower wages after stepping down from the government post.

“By resigning, my salary has been halved,” she tweeted, to a nation of people experiencing punitive sanctions, delayed payments, cuts to their benefits, rent arrears, loss of income, eviction, food bank use, and less money for their disabilities, illnesses and child support thanks to her former Department’s policies.

In what McVey clearly thought was a SICK BURN in response to a guy on Twitter suggesting jokingly that she should be sanctioned for leaving a job voluntarily (as is the case under the DWP’s social security system), she clarified that – actually, yes – she did suffer a loss of income when she left her job.

This wasn’t quite the zinger she hoped it would be, however, considering the horrifying lack of self-awareness that someone on an MP’s salary – who had presided over a government system making people worse off against their will – would think it appropriate to point out the loss of income from their own political decision.

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/welfare/2018/11/irony-alert-former-work-and-pensions-secretary-esther-mcvey-her-income-cut

Greater Exeter – city council plans and housing need

Now that Exeter is planning (at least) 450 homes on sites adjacent to Exeter bus station (and possibly even more), is this 450 fewer homes that the rest of Greater Exeter has to supply to “meet Exeter’s needs”?

https://www.devonlive.com/news/business/new-300million-exeter-bus-station-2236936

Teignbridge District Council Tory majority down to 1 – implications for Greater Exeter

Owl says: The Greater Exeter Strategic Plan must be approved by all linked authorities. EDDC has already refused to sign up to the latest draft and now Teignbridge can no longer rely on whipped Tories. 1 vacancy, 23 Tories, 6 Independents and 16 Lib Dems – so Independents now VERY powerful ….

“The ruling Conservative party have seen their majority on Teignbridge District Council slashed to a wafer-thin one after the resignation of a councillor.

Cllr Amanda Ford, the previous ward member for the Teign Valley, quit the council earlier this month.

No reason for her departure has officially been stated, but just weeks before she left, she had threatened to quit as a result of ‘allegations of bullying by senior council officers’, an accusation the council has strongly refuted. …”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/tory-majority-slashed-one-after-2238257

“Parish council has ‘stronger reservations’ about housing plans for East Budleigh bat habitat”

Owl says: Will EDDC’s old mates Clinton Devon Estates get their own way (as they so often do) or will conservation win the day? Hhmmm …

“Wildlife concerns have been raised over a plan to demolish the home of roosting rare bats in East Budleigh to make way for a new house.

An amended application by landowner Clinton Devon Estates to demolish a barn on an area of village green space known as ‘The Pound’ is seeking to construct a separate ‘bat barn’ on the site as mitigation for concerns raised for rare species of bats.

At an extraordinary parish council planning meeting held at the village hall, residents raised fears that lighting from the dwelling may deter bats from using their new habitat and the village could lose its rare bats.

Councillors, who previously supported the application, said they now had ‘stronger reservations’ about the proposal and want to see a lighting strategy put in place prior to development. They also want a period of 12 months between the bat barn and the house being built to allow bats to get used to their new home.

Village resident Cathy Moyle chairs the East Budleigh Parish Wildlife Conversation Group set up earlier this year to fight the ‘destruction’ of the wildlife habitat.

Speaking at the meeting, she said: “If the light impact cannot be resolved, then in accordance with legislation, the planning permission should be refused.

“If, unfortunately, the application does get approved, then conditions should be placed on the planning permission that no artificial external lighting should be erected by future occupants.

“As the application stands, there is likely to be a significant adverse impact on the conservation status of, in particular, the international rare greater and lesser horseshoe and the exceptionally rare grey long-eared bat.”

Karen Alexander-Clarke, secretary of the conservation group, added: “We have incredibly rare bats in our village, they are European-protected species and there is no mitigation measure that is guaranteed to be successful.

“Clinton Devon Estates are involved with many conservation projects and seems to be incredibly proud of what they are doing for bats in the rest of the county yet they want to destroy a roost in their own parish.”

East Devon District Council will make the final decision on the application at a later date.”

http://www.exmouthjournal.co.uk/news/east-budleigh-housing-development-1-5786516

Extracts from the UN report on poverty – yes, it IS a political choice

“Extracts from the UN report on poverty in GB by Professor Philip Alston,
​16 Nov 2018

• 14 million people, a fifth of the population, live in poverty. Four million of these are more than 50% below the poverty line,1 and 1.5 million are destitute, unable to afford basic essentials.

• For almost one in every two children to be poor in twenty-first century Britain is not just a disgrace, but a social calamity and an economic disaster, all rolled into one.

• The Government has remained determinedly in a state of denial. British compassion for those who are suffering has been replaced by a punitive, mean-spirited, and often callous approach apparently designed to instill discipline.

• In England, homelessness is up 60% since 2010, rough sleeping is up 134%.
​In-work poverty is increasingly common and almost 60% of those in poverty in ​the UK are in families where someone works.

• Low wages, insecure jobs, and zero hour contracts mean that even at record unemployment there are still 14 million people in poverty.

• One pastor said “The majority of people using our food bank are in work…. Nurses and teachers are accessing food banks.”

• The costs of austerity have fallen disproportionately upon the poor, women, racial and ethnic minorities, children, single parents, and people with disabilities.

• The Equality and Human Rights Commission forecasts that another 1.5 million more children will fall into poverty between 2010 and 2021/22 as a result of the changes to benefits and taxes, a 10% increase from 31% to 41%. Sanctions against parents can have unintended consequences on their children.

The experience of the United Kingdom, especially since 2010, underscores the conclusion that poverty is a political choice. Austerity could easily have spared the poor, if the political will had existed to do so. Resources were available to the Treasury at the last budget that could have transformed the situation of millions of people living in poverty, but the political choice was made to fund tax cuts for the wealthy instead.”