Sunday, May 20, 2007

Housing crisis

There is a lot of talk about the crisis in housing but very little discussion of what must surely be a major factor - namely the price of land.

Let's just imagine that the government were to introduce a 2007 Town and Country Planning Act in which, at the stroke of a legislative pen, they made an enormous amount of land available for housing development. Wouldn't this be a relatively straightforward matter? Aren't there many areas of land that are unsuited to agricultural development that could be made available for building homes?

Of course, an increase in the availability of land such as I envisage would undoubtedly lead to a dramatic fall in land values and there are many powerful interests who would oppose this. All the same, it seems to me that to attempt to address the problem faced by so many people today - namely the impossibility of creating a home of their own - without confronting the factors that support the current astronomical price of land, is to ignore the fundamental issue.

Or am I missing something here?

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