“Right to Buy homes re-sold since 2000 made £6.4bn in profit” (many sold within 6 weeks)

Proof that the destruction of social housing is a Conservative policy.

“A former council tenant bought their home under Right to Buy for £8,000 and sold it on for £285,000 nine days later – a £277,000 profit, the BBC found.

The Solihull buyer was among 140 in Great Britain who bought and resold within one month, making a £3m collective profit.

Opponents of the scheme said too many people had profited from a policy that had “much bigger social ambitions”.

Supporters said Right to Buy helped people secure their financial future.
The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) said it was “shocking to see the extent of the profit margin in black and white”.

It called for the scheme to be suspended in England. In January it was halted in Wales, as it was in Scotland in 2016.

Housing commentator Henry Pryor said: “Far too many… simply profited from a scheme that had much bigger social ambitions”. …”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-47443183

Today’s promise of 30,000 housing association dwellings put into perspective

Owl says note that the “affordable” hoysing will still be 80% of market value … making these homes still unaffordable for those on low incomes.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has today committed £3billion in extra borrowing to deliver 30,000 new affordable homes in England.

In the Spring Statement, the Chancellor announced that the Government will guarantee the extra borrowing by housing associations to support the delivery of the homes, but did not supply a timetable for delivery.

The Chancellor also announced that £717million from the £5.5billion Housing Infrastructure Fund will be used to help ‘unlock’ up to 37,000 homes at sites including Old Oak Common in London, the Oxford-Cambridge Arc and Cheshire. …”

BUT IN THE SAME ARTICLE:

“In November This is Money revealed that local councils have fallen over six years behind their own house building targets.

Councils’ own figures revealed that development across the UK is moving at such a glacial pace that 316 sites will have fallen short of targets by 889,803 homes within the next eight years. …”

https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-6804561/Spring-Statement-Housing-associations-borrow-3bn-build-new-affordable-homes.html

Shock news: ‘Government Agency ‘U-turn’ puts Axminster relief road at risk…’

EDDC press release:

“The £17m relief road and 850 homes, in the Masterplan for the east of Axminster, have been put at risk by a late change in Homes England funding.

East Devon District Council has reacted with dismay to news that government agency Homes England has changed how it is assessing the council’s £10 million bid for Axminster relief road.

The council bid for a non-repayable grant in 2017. This bid was accepted in February 2018, to be used to help fund the delivery of the crucial new relief road and associated homes, employment land and community facilities.

The council has now been told by Homes England that a new condition of the funding is that the money must be repaid by the development.

Council leader Cllr Ian Thomas is enormously concerned that the decision potentially puts the Axminster Masterplan in jeopardy.

He said: “We are dismayed by this fundamental change of mind. It throws the whole Axminster scheme up in the air and means that the effort we and our partners have put into this critical scheme over the last 12 months may have been completely wasted.

“Since I was first elected leader, I have been absolutely consistent that we don’t simply build homes, we build sustainable communities. The Axminster Masterplan is an excellent example of such a community. It would bring enormous social and economic benefit to Axminster, by delivering high quality affordable housing and employment land, together with other essential community facilities. After this decision from Homes England, it feels like we are back to square one. It’s bitterly disappointing.

“We understand that our scheme is one of a number across the country where similar funding decision changes are being made, as Homes England assesses the viability of schemes on a fundamentally different basis, to that applied in our original agreement with them.

“Our council is now considering its options. This includes taking legal advice to investigate whether we may have strong grounds to challenge Homes England’s decision.

The masterplan for 850 homes with employment land, open spaces and community facilities was endorsed by the council’s strategic planning committee in January. The plan was based on the money from Homes England not being repaid and even then, the development could only be made viable by expanding the site area and increasing the number of homes proposed to around 850. The amount of affordable housing required from the additional 200 homes was also reduced from 50% to 25%.

Following a decision by Homes England last week, it would appear that the development will have to repay the £10 million of government “grant” and the masterplan is no longer viable in its current form.

The council must also consider revisiting the masterplan to understand the consequences of the decision for the amount of affordable housing, employment land and community facilities to make the development viable again.

Throughout the masterplan process, the council has always been clear that the urban extension of Axminster is not just about delivering housing and the relief road but is about helping the town grow as a community in a sustainable way supported by the services and facilities that it needs.

The council is frustrated that Homes England’s change in approach puts this all at significant risk and could make the development undeliverable. It will be seeking an urgent meeting with Homes England to discuss this case and other implications for investment in the district.”

Swire to attend CPRE seminar on Devon Housing – tickets available

Date And Time

Thu, 21 March 2019
11:00 – 15:00 GMT

at

The Estuary Suite
Sandy Park
Sandy Park Way
Exeter
EX2 7NN

Tickets £5 each available via Eventbrite
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/devons-new-housing-need-a-government-local-authority-perspective-tickets-57377917897

“Have you noticed how many houses are being built in Devon? Do we need so many? What is the genuine underlying need? How many are genuinely affordable? Who are the planned new houses actually for? How many new homes are planned for your community and where?

To address these questions and more, we are delighted to have organised this important seminar where we will be joined by Kit Malthouse MP, Minister of State for Housing & Planning, Sir Hugo Swire MP East Devon and Stephen Walford, Chief Executive Officer Mid Devon District Council. CPRE Devon’s Dr Phillip Bratby will also be summarising the key findings of our recently commissioned independent Devon Housing Need Report.

What do you think of all the new house building in Devon? Please join us for this important and exclusive opportunity to hear from our guest speakers and to put your questions to them. All welcome. Admission by ticket only. £5, to include refreshments.

CPRE Devon – The Voice for Devon’s Countryside
http://www.cpredevon.org.uk

“Excessive” housing in a Local Plan allowed to go to appeal

“CAMPAIGNERS battling the impact of Waverley’s “excessive” housing targets are celebrating a landmark legal decision giving them the green light to appeal.

In a fresh twist threatening to undermine the borough council’s adopted Local Plan, which calculates 11,200 houses must be built by 2032, the Court of Appeal agreed last Thursday it would hear the joint challenge by Surrey Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and Protect Our Waverley (POW).
The challenge centres on whether Waverley had to increase its housing target by 1,600 homes in order to accept Woking’s “unmet need”.

If the joint appeal succeeds – due to be heard later this year – it will anger residents forced to accept unpopular housing schemes driven by Waverley’s determination to meet its housing target, such as a controversial scheme for up to 200 houses agreed last week in Milford (see page three).
Last week’s Court of Appeal decision reverses a High Court decision in October 2018 rejecting POW and CPRE’s case that Waverley should not be obliged to take half of Woking’s unmet need.

Celebrating CPRE’s successful appeal against October’s verdict, Andy Smith, CPRE Surrey branch director, said: “We are pleased that the Court of Appeal wish to see the matter of Woking’s so-called unmet need properly addressed, as there are big question marks over it.

“In the housing requirement numbers for both the Waverley and Guildford Local Plans, this issue of Woking’s unmet need, lurks in the background. It will be good to bring this issue out in the appeal court, as it has profound consequences – not just for Waverley and not even just for West Surrey, but also county wide and nation wide.

“Our countryside is at risk from excessive, arbitrary and unsustainabule housebuilding targets, and that is why we needed to challenge the housing calculations.”

POW chairman Bob Lees highlighted that the appeal coincides with Woking Borough Council declaring it now has no unmet need, and new demographic figures released by the Office for National Statistics implying a much reduced need for new housing.

Welcoming last week’s decision, Mr Lees said: “This is great news. It provides Waverley Borough Council with a golden opportunity to significantly reduce the mandatory number of new houses to be built in the borough over the next 14 years.

“POW fought against the housing requirement at the examination of the Local Plan. POW fought again in the High Court. POW will fight in the Court of Appeal. POW is fighting to protect our Waverley against unneeded development of our towns, of our villages and in our beautiful countryside.”

Waverley has set aside a “fighting fund” of £300,000 to defend its Local Plan. Responding, borough council leader and Farnham councillor Julia Potts, said: “This news is obviously extremely disappointing for us, but we will, of course, be vigorously defending our adopted Local Plan; the plan we believe represents the best possible vision for the borough’s future.
“It means we can work in partnership with the borough’s towns and parishes to develop Neighbourhood Plans, so communities can mould new development where they live. It means we can safeguard our borough against inappropriate development.

“It should be remembered that Waverley did not bring this legal action, but we have to defend both the borough and town and parish councils, whose Neighbourhood Plans are now threatened by this action. We all want appropriate plan-led development and we did everything possible at the inspection to defend a lower housing number.

“It is extremely disappointing that a few determined individuals continue to raise these legal challenges, despite the High Court upholding the Local Plan following the hearing in October 2018 and despite it having been approved by a government inspector.

“We are committed to preserving and protecting the adopted Local Plan. It will remain our principal planning document and continue to guide our planning decisions.”

http://www.farnhamherald.com/article.cfm

The many drawbacks for buyers using Help to Buy (as well as greedy developer rip-off prices)

” … One of the biggest drawbacks of Help to Buy is that if you choose to sell up, the Government will ask for its 40% stake back. But with house prices falling in inner cities, Kim says this isn’t necessary bad. “Upon selling the property, if it does make a loss then the Government will absorb 40% of the loss made,” she said.

“One of the biggest benefits is the number of companies now offering the scheme. There were plenty of options all over London.”

But she says, bear in mind that after five years you will have to start paying back the interest – and your current salary is taken into consideration for this.

The government loan is interest free for the first five years. After that the borrower is charged a fee of 1.75% of the loan’s value. That fee then increases every year at 1% above inflation.

“You also can’t sub-let a buy to let property” she adds.

“This means that everyone living in the building is an owner – minimising any risks of investors renting neighbouring flats to frequently changing tenants. But bear in mind, you will have to pay a ground fee.”

However, while being unable to sub-let means you’ll be able to build a community with local residents, if you choose to move out, the only option you have is to sell up.

This, she says, means she won’t be able to work abroad or travel in the near future, as she’d not be able to rent the property to pay off her mortgage in the meantime.

Speaking of the drawbacks, she added: “Any profit made upon selling the flat will be shared with the Government – you’ll keep 60% and pay back 40% of the total amount made from the sale.”

“The Help to Buy scheme has been a very beneficial for first time buyers who otherwise would not be able to get on the housing market. But due to the complex nature of the equity stake from the Government, buyers do need to go into this with their eyes open,” explained Richard Campo, manager at mortgage advisor Rose Capital Partners.

“We have seen eye watering ground rent and service charges to the degree where lenders were declining mortgage applications due to the prospect of high future rises and subsequent concerns on affordability on the mortgage.

“Even the introduction of leasehold houses was only stopped by developers when mortgage lenders refused to offer products for these properties.

“The loan offered on Help To Buy is set as a percentage rather than a fixed amount, meaning if a house price doubles the loan would stay fixed, less any capital repayments, while the government would double it’s share (20% outside London, up to 40% in London). As such, serious thought needs to be given on how to exit or refinance down the line. …”

https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/what-dont-tell-you-help-14035383