Living the Dream - Plots & Plans

Benefitz Betty's picture

Living the Dream? Experts on 'Housing' are hard to find, so will use this as a framework of asessment. If Khan can,  pan the can :

"A promise to ensure that half of all homes built in London are "genuinely affordable to rent or buy" formed a key plank of Labour candidate Sadiq Khan’s successful bid for the mayoralty. Khan’s manifesto said his affordable housing drive will be spearheaded by Homes for Londoners (HfL), a new team that will bring together mayoral housing, planning, funding and land powers to raise investment, assemble sites and commission and build homes."   HfL v HoL, Heckles. The bill received Royal Assension on 13th May. Like it or lump it.  Wot are the Challenges?

HfL’s remit will include council and housing association homes for social rent and "London living rent" homes with rents tied to local wages. Londoners wishing to buy have been promised "first dibs" on "part-buy part-rent" homes on public land and homes on publicly-owned brownfield sites."  Ah, so 'first dibs'  ... locals first.  Oranges & Lemons, to St Ives, strives - define a Londoner? Mebbe its becos I'm a  ... ah, so.  Putney.. putting on the Ritz:

"Elsewhere, the new mayor signalled guidelines for the use of his call-in powers to maximise affordable homes in new developments, increase transparency around viability assessments and enforce "use it or lose it" regulations to make sure planning permissions are delivered on."  More jargon ... tis a juggernaut 'Elsewhere?' the NPPF are big on 'viability assessments' see here :

And therein lies the Catch 22.  Viability -  wot does that mean?  A housing development needs to be deliverable, viability + costs = deliverable.  Any new development is not to be thwarted at the planning stage by obligations.  (Eg S106 & contribution to affordable housing).  Development must provide a competitive return to a landowner & developer.  A+B = C ... apples n pears = stairs. First steps.

Definition of 'affordable housing' : - social rented, intermediate, eligibility needs of householders not met by the housing market. 

Social rented has (up til now) been owned by Local Authorities.  Affordable Rent = subject to 80% of the market rent. 

Intermediate :- Housing that is for sale/rent based on affordability, defined as 3.5 times gross household income.  Eg in Skardiborg the median house costs £135K the EPRN = £24,908. The local intermediate to house price ratio is 5.4.

So wot has changed?  Starter Homes, included as affordable, UK wide 200,000 by 2020 to be developed at 80% of market rates.  And herin lies the challenge - who is going to build them?   Is it viable? The 20% saving is from removal of S106 & CIL promises.  Starter Homes are also limited to eligibility - first time buyers, over the age of 23  and under the age of  40.  Add in the 5 year rule and with an option to buy after 3 years...  Pickled Times : don't all rush at once :

Oh, Ok who is going to pay for this? Second home owners : "From 1 April 2016 people purchasing additional properties such as buy to let properties and second homes will pay an extra 3% in stamp duty"   And, further who is going to build them?  "£2.3 billion will be spent on building 200,000 Starter Homes over the next five years. This money will be given to house builders to provide a 20% discount on new homes."

Oh that seems fair, cough, obviously its not that simple, running before we can walk?  Talk the talk "Right to Buy will now be extended to housing association tenants during 2016, giving 1.3 million households the chance to become home owners."

Mind the gap ... meet the criteria?   Meanwhiles, LA supported Housing Association tenants who are eligible to buy at discount also reduces the housing stock.  But, thats OK in 5 years time there will be housing for all... Mebbe.  Perpetuity - big word.  Perpetuity - for the lifetime of the scheme.   The five year rule - price reduction will last for 5 years - ergo buy your start home within 5 years - reduces the housing stock.

Ah, so : Perpetuity - clear as mud : (LA's can define 'perpetuity' at their own peril)

On the other side of the 'challenge' is the house builder, constructive construction: The Residual Valuation Moles. Moles or models, Moles: The value of a development is dependent on 'return', costs of land & development and mitigation (policy input/obligations)

Residual Land Value - one of the main factors is land prices, this is in part flexible and the possible only variable*. (Land prices are major factors, often inflated by the planning process. Though overvaluing land can be haphazzard - in short a Land Value is what the market considers it is worth, AKA what the buyer considers it is worth.  Under or over valuation the Land value contributes to the Gross Development Value = construction + fees + finance : Residual Value.   A return to viability.  Site specific assessments are needed to establish a developers view on 'return' often between a scoping range  0 - 50%  it is the LA's job to pin point or add some realism into an expected dim case of viability.   GDV's vary according to areas; eg Scalby has a GDV of 2400m2 over an average in Skardiborg of 1500m2 based on a typical 25 house development.   A quite staggering differential based on a change of assumption.  Eh?  Do they just make it up?  Nope, tis all brilliantly matrixed and modelled using RICS.

So, erm what has changed to challenge the construction companies?  Facts & Figures: Building Cost Info Specifics - Since 2011 the National House Price Index - house values have risen by 7.6%.

Meanwhile the costs of housebuilding have risen by 30%   (recognised as a direct impact caused by the recession with efficiencies being made througout the supply chain creating shortages og both materials and direct labour costs) (ergo should too many constructions projects be permitted, the costs rise;  that old fave 'supply and demand' - imported goods and labour cost more. (nobody moaned about Polish skilled tradesmen pre-recesession :-)

In 2011 the cost of building a house £761 sqm.  At 2016 £ 993 sq m. = 30% increase.  This is a fixed national figure.  A typical 25 dwelling development has an increased cost of £522,000.  (7.6% increase v 30% increase in costs - tis a no brainer) So how to adjust this locally, the Land Registry holds a database of sale values, LA's can only use comparables on new builds. An average 3 bed = 90 sq m, 4 bed = 115sq m so the average/approx new house build is calculated at £90k. 

Ah, so ... add on : professional fees 6-8%, finance costs 6% (interest rates), external costs ie roads, basic utility infrastructure and residuals average 14.21% - SBC uses 15%, contingency at 3-5% (3% greenfield, 5% brownfield), marketing 3%  etc etc is it any wonder that construction companies are resisting, lol - blames the EU :

Fun innit? Makes that bedist in Bracknell very comforting ... Anyhoos as costs of builds increase in high build areas (supply and demand) a GDV of 10% can be assessed as a more true view than a 0-50% as some developers would have believed.  LA's are not as daft as they appear.   It is the LA's role to secure as much affordable housing as a developer can possible bear/bare.  Yet perhaps explains the Govts. need to assist with 20%.  Do the math.   

On top of all that, grant funding for housing development has changed, formerly the HCA contributed to affordable housing - that is no more. So, with current culmative Govt. Housing policies, compounding and in many areas in conflict with construction development (reducing returns) tis all a bit of a mess, especially for those in need of 'affordable housing'.   

To sum up - pre recession a developers profit was expected to be 15-25%. As a contrubition to affordable housing SBC accepts a 20% return but uses 18% where affordable provided. An Inspectors rule of thumb allows 15-20%.  Either way the Law now says housing developments have to be 'viable'.   Local planning policy is shaped by evidence, best not mention the shifting sands....   

Rainy days ... stuck in a rut? Who cares ... Live the dream.  If anyone can make sense of the 'housing crisis' mebbe Sadiq Kahn can.  Cornerstones. The answer is obviously (as previous). Anyhoos I is not the Chancellor of Exchequers ... just living the dream :-) with some urban myths busted along the way... nah can't sing or dance either hey ho : 

Catch 22: Back to the experts :

"Nick Belsten, a director at Indigo Planning, warned that "very few" schemes in London are able to deliver 50 per cent affordable housing," so viability will become even more of an issue".
Ian Anderson, executive director at consultancy Iceni Projects, said: "Unless the right policy framework is in place, there is little chance [of meeting the target]. Landowners will not release land at half price simply because the mayor is committed to affordable housing. They will retain the existing use or develop for uses that do not attract affordable obligations, such as retail, leisure, office, hotel or student accommodation."

Simon Ricketts, planning partner at law firm King & Wood Mallesons, doubted that the 50 per cent target was achievable, citing viability constraints, high existing use values, construction costs, Community Infrastructure Levy non-housing demands and the lack of public finance for traditional forms of affordable housing.

Ricketts said the government’s requirement for 20 per cent of homes on major developments to be provided as discounted Starter Homes for first-time buyers would "cannibalise" the affordable housing component of most schemes, leading some boroughs to consider increasing their overall affordable targets beyond 50 per cent. "Such policies would need to be consistent with the London Plan and pass examination, so it will be a slow process. Even then, they would have to be implemented pragmatically, or development will not happen," he said.

Anderson said pressure to increase boroughs’ targets would not make much impact in inner London, where many councils already require 50 per cent affordable housing. "The real difference could be in other areas of London, particularly in locations around railway stations and other infrastructure," he said. He also warned that the mayor’s commitment to protecting green belt will do little for affordability. "Applying a 50 per cent affordable target to green belt land is viable because obligations can be built in before it is allocated, while there is clear daylight between existing use and development values," he said.

Andrew Simpson, a planner at London consultancy Dominic Lawson Bespoke Planning, said the mayor’s team will need to explore different ways of treating public land values to subsidise affordable housing, and should be open to different forms and definitions of affordability. "Khan will have to put a rocket under public bodies that are slow in bringing sites forward," Simpson added.

Belsten suggested that a fixed tariff of around 25 to 30 per cent affordable housing for all develop-ments would create more certainty. "If developers and landowners know there is a clear rate, they can factor it into their bids for sites," he argued. But Ricketts said a fixed tariff would mean losing out on some affordable housing in schemes that could support a higher proportion, while development would stall on sites where even the lowest tariff rate is unachievable."

Wishful thinking ...

Mustav got their UK and Ukraines mixed up again ...   Bless.

Grrrr ... Grunt.

PSS fat chance of the Womens Refuge being built ... ergo no chance of an all inclusive refuge. 

Next Up - Houses of Multple Occupation v Land Banking.


* Missed a few bits out but will update as n when, but get the jist.  Less is more ....  make it up as we go along :-) Welcome to The Twilight Zone du du dooo X




Captain Qahn's picture

Britain n Berlin - The Next Generation

"Given Germany's painful 20th Century history of state surveillance, some critics have accused the government of snooping. But Diana says that she gets overwhelming support from neighbours.

"People are happy to see us. They're always friendly and helpful," she says.

"That's because these holiday flats really aggravate people - whether because of noise or dirt.

"People want to have neighbours who they know. And that's why people get in touch with us."

But while that makes the law popular, that isn't the reason why Berlin's city government has decided to ban most holiday apartments. It's because of rising rents and a growing lack of housing in the city.

Between 2009 and 2014 rents shot up by 56% in Berlin.

And the city has become a magnet for young creatives from all over the world, so Berlin's growing population means it's increasingly difficult to find affordable housing."

Benefitz Betty's picture

Finders Keepers ...

"Under the deal with its investment partner, Keepmoat aims to build over 5,000 new private market rental homes across England by 2021.

Thousands of two, three and four bedroom properties will be built in locations across the North West, Yorkshire, the Midlands and north of London.

In the next 12 months alone Keepmoat and Sigma are targeting over 1,000 of the construction starts in these locations.

The partnership will deliver mainly homes for private rent on land owned and to be acquired by Keepmoat.

Along with securing the land, Keepmoat will lead on the design, planning and build process; lettings and investment management are undertaken by Sigma...."

Boooo!!! :

"Farmer Robert Fidler hid his home from planners behind a huge wall of hay bales near Redhill in Surrey.

After a decade-long legal battle, and the threat of jail, he has almost finished knocking the building down."



Benefitz Betty's picture

Private Tenants Right to Buy?

“Like council and housing association tenants, private tenants who exercise their right to buy would be entitled to a 35% discount off the market value of the house, up to a maximum currently set at £77,900 outside London and £103,900 in London. The same rules should apply to private-sector tenants who wish to buy their homes, but with two important riders.

“First, the discount should never be so high as to impose losses on the landlord. In the social rented sector, tenants cannot be given discounts which exceed the amount spent on the property by their landlords in the last 10 years, and discounts in the private sector should similarly be reduced to take account of recent improvements costs incurred by landlords. But in addition to this, the discount should be capped so the price at which the tenant purchases is never lower than the price originally paid for the property by the landlord (including the original transaction costs). This means landlords would never be forced to incur losses on their investments – an important safeguard for recent buy-to-let investors and for those who have bought in more depressed property markets. Without such a cap, existing landlords could be unfairly penalised.”

Sounds like a plan ...


Benefitz Betty's picture

SBC: Selective Licencing Consultation

Eh? "Selective Licensing is a discretionary licensing scheme, which requires all landlords operating within a designated area to license any privately rented property within that area.... designate areas suffering from either significant and persistent anti-social behaviour and/or low housing demand."

Selective indeed: "Parts of Castle and North Bay ward as per the attached map"

Erm ... isn't that being rather too 'selective'?

Why not just licence all privately rented property across the Borough? Ya know, Scalby, Newby, South Cliff...  make it all inclusive.

Who knows with RTB for Private Tenants around the corner SBC might even be considered 'proactive', rather than LSOA (Lower Super Output Area) ...

Ah, So  ... the SBC evidence : -)

They drew the line at Whitby ....


Captain Qahn's picture

Socialism ... Dim or Dull

"...But the underdog socialists’ biggest problem isn’t that they are wrong. They are not. Their biggest problem is that they’re dull. Dull as a doorknob. They’ve got no story to tell; nor even the language to convey it in. Having arrived at the conclusion that politics is a mere matter of identity, they have chosen an arena in which they will lose every time.

And too often, it seems as if leftists actually like losing. As if all the failure, doom and atrocities mainly serve to prove they were right all along. “There’s a kind of activism,” Rebecca Solnit remarks in her book Hope in The Dark “that’s more about bolstering identity than achieving results.”

One thing Donald Trump understands very well is that most people prefer to be on the winning side (“We’re going to win so much. You’re going to get tired of winning.”) They resent the pity and paternalism of the good Samaritan. The always-impending apocalypse – whether the next financial crash or unavoidable climate disaster – is not a great motivator.

What the underdog socialist has forgotten is that the story of the left ought to be a narrative of hope and progress. By that I don’t mean a narrative that only excites a few hipsters who get their kicks philosophising about “postcapitalism” after reading some deadly dull tome. The greatest sin of the academic left is that it has become fundamentally aristocratic, writing in bizarre jargon that makes cliches seem abstruse. If you can’t explain your ideal to a fairly intelligent 12-year-old, it’s probably your own fault. What we need is a narrative that speaks to millions of ordinary people. It all starts with reclaiming the language of progress...."

Oh. ...

"Mr Khan said Mr Corbyn had "totally failed" to get his messages across in the UK's EU referendum in June. "Why would things be different in a general election?," Mr Khan said.

Explaining his support for Mr Smith, he said the pair had agreed on the "big issues", such as opposing the Iraq War.

Labour 'suffering badly' - Mr Khan said: "Jeremy has already proved that he is unable to organise an effective team and has failed to win the trust and respect of the British people.

"Jeremy's personal ratings are the worst of any opposition leader on record and the Labour party is suffering badly as a result.

"He has lost the confidence of more than 80% of Labour's MPs in Parliament - and I am afraid we simply cannot afford to go on like this."

"He said that through the referendum and its aftermath, Mr Corbyn had "failed to show the leadership we desperately needed".

"And you can't just blame a 'hostile media' and let Jeremy and his team off the hook.

"I know from my own election - up against a nasty and divisive Tory campaign - that if we are strong and clear enough in our convictions, the message will get through to the public.

"That's a test that Jeremy totally failed in the EU referendum. Why would things be different in a general election?

"His position on EU membership was never clear - and voters didn't believe him.""

Surplus to requirements...

Hmmm ... Mind over Matter (MoM)

Erm, 'millenials'  wtf?


Ah, so ... ditchwater :


Ironically, tis the 'dull' JC that has drawn many bright young sparks into the LP .... Catch 22.

Zzzzzz ...

In the drawer x

Benefitz Betty's picture

The Pick Wick Papers

Not the brightest tools ...

"The public are being urged to assist the police by registering their property for free onto, as well as, considering property marking items...."


Ah, so ....

July's Pop Out for Mr Pickwick?

Hmmm ....

""We are not in the habit of bringing action against those rough sleepers who do not cause trouble but we will not tolerate those whose anti-social behaviour causes distress to others. Where we have clear evidence that this is the case, we will take enforcement action."

Darn ... that's my retirementplan scupperred ;-)

Pickwickian Syndrome

"Mr Wilson has been ordered not to:

  • Keep or deposit his belongings on the ground or on any bench in any public place, for a period of more than 10 minutes, within the area edged in red on the attached plan.
  • Sleep rough in any public place within the area edged in red on the attached plan.
  • Sit on the ground in any public place within the area edged in red on the attached plan.
  • Keep or put any rubbish in any public place within the area edged in red on the attached plan, except public bins or waste receptacles.
  • Place any hat, bowl, bucket or other container or vessel in front of or near to himself in such a manner as to attract passers-by to place money in it.
  • Place any bong, pipe or hypodermic needle (also known as a ‘pin’) in a place where it may be visible to a member of the public.
  • Urinate or defecate in any public place, except public toilet facilities, provided that they are used only for the purpose of urination and defecation.
  • Be in possession of any open containers of alcohol in any public place.
  • Be in possession of any psychoactive substance in any public place. For the avoidance of doubt psychoactive substance for the purpose of the order has the same meaning as s2 Psychoactive Substances Act 2016.
  • Behave in a way which causes or is likely to cause harassment, nuisance, alarm or distress to any other person."

Precedential.... for Awl?

Mebbe tis a manifesto for WtY. 


Captain Black's picture

Osborne's Pick List

As above ... so below ;-)

"Lord Bew, whose committee advises the prime minister on ethical standards for people in public office, said of Mr Osborne's editorship: "We had something that, up to a degree, worked. It now seems to be getting into rockier waters.

"Unless someone sleeps two hours a night, that's the only way I can see how this is not [too much].

"This is not personal to George Osborne. But [his case] raises the issue of how much time MPs have to devote to their parliamentary work."

Polling suggests public attitudes have hardened against MPs taking second jobs - but there is also a desire for fewer career politicians. Since 2010, as a compromise, MPs have had to tell voters if they intend to hold a second job when elections are held.

But now, in light of Mr Osborne's workload, Lord Bew has told the BBC that his committee, which suggested that compromise, will later this week debate whether MPs should be allowed the option of a second job at all.

The editorship announcement also came before Mr Osborne had received approval from the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, or Acoba."

Now, about that man on the Moor.