Thursday, 13 October 2016

YPP (London) meet-up, alternative venue tomorrow Friday 14 October

Convened by Joe, 5.30 onwards, The Vintry, Abchurch Yard, London EC4N 5AX, nearest Tubes Monument or Bank.

Contact me at or on 07954 59 07 44 if you need more info.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Reader's Letter Of The Day

From today's Evening Standard:

Regarding your article on business rates, there is hope for London's retail and office tenants. There is plenty of evidence to show that increases in rates are offset by equal and opposite reductions in rents, therefore the only losers from this in the long run will be landowners.

They have enjoyed substantial capital gains and increases in rents over the past seven years [i.e. since the last revaluation], so few will shed a tear for them.

Joe Momberg

A pity that either Joe or ES didn't add the 'Young People's Party' sign off.

Or to put it another way, Business Rates is just a super-tax on rents; total London rents have risen by £10 billion or something over the past seven years, and the government has finally got round to increasing this tax to what everybody with a little foresight expected it would be anyway.

Friday, 30 September 2016

"Wealth of people in their 30s has halved in a decade"

From the BBC.

The IFS has crunched the numbers and confirmed what we knew all along - that the changes made to legislation on the housing market over the last few decades have really had the desired results over the last fifteen years or os, the desired result in this case being to f--- over future generations and enrich existing large landowners and banks.

Most owner-occupiers are superficially also winners in this, because "their homes have gone up in value" but that's illusory. It's purely paper gains and unless you own more spare homes that you have children, your family on the whole will end up worse off.

All this "bank of Mum and Dad" stuff illustrates the point. In most cases, Mum and Dad have to take out another mortgage to lend to their kids, on top of the huge mortgage the kids have to take it. So the family has approx. the right number of houses but massive great big debts.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Reader's Letter Of The Day

From yesterday's Evening Standard:

Chris Roberts dismisses Rohan Silva's piece on housing costs by saying that "there are plenty of cheaper places to live than London" which misses the point.

Of course there are plenty of towns where the cost of living is £10,000 a year lower but in those towns wages are also £10,000 a year less. Any apparent saving in rent would be matched by a fall in wages.

To put it another way, half of all UK graduates move to London, attracted by the higher wages and better job opportunities, but landlords have simply increased their rents to soak up those extra earnings. Most of the official growth in the London economy ends up in the pockets of landlords or those who sell up and move away.

Younger people like Rohan Silva are caught between a rock and a hard place, and lucky Baby Boomers who bought their homes for a song 20 or more years ago should be thanking their lucky stars, not sneering at people who will have it so much harder.

Mark Wadsworth, Young People's Party

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Owen Smith - taking YPP ideas and watering them down to meaningless.

From the BBC:

[Owen] Smith has called for the current funding system to be abolished and replaced with a 1%-2% graduate tax. He also promised a high-level apprenticeship to every 18-year-old who gets the grades…

He also promised to build 50,000 "first homes" a year, earmarked for under-30s, which would be rented to first-time buyers at 80% of the local market rent, with the remaining 20% going into a savings pot.

Student loans are currently repaid via a 9% graduate tax, and even that is only enough to repay about half the loans. Reducing that to 1% or 2% is of course much better, but does not explain where the rest of the money will come from.

We summarised the amounts involved and the obvious way forward in our higher education manifesto.

He also promised to build 50,000 "first homes" a year, earmarked for under-30s, which would be rented to first-time buyers at 80% of the local market rent, with the remaining 20% going into a savings pot.

Aargh! That doesn't even make sense; are tenants supposed to pay 100% of the 'market rent' and be given 20% of it back somehow? It's nowhere near enough either. If everybody is to have a chance of obtaining such a home, they would need to build about 300,000 a year, not just 50,000, which wouldn't even show up as a blip.

YPP housing/planning manifesto here.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

YPP (London) Meet-up, tomorrow Friday 26 August

5.20 to 7.30 or so, The Brewmaster, Leicester Square Tube Exit 1, turn left and left again into the alleyway (St Martin's Court). 

We put a yellow YPP leaflet on the table (if we can grab one!) so that you can recognise us. Contact me at or on 07954 59 07 44 if you need more info.

Topics: Reverse takeover of the LVT Campaign.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Beyond smug.

From the BBC:

Private landlords in the UK received twice as much in housing benefit last year - £9.3bn - as they did a decade ago, a report says. The National Housing Federation (NHF) study said the increase was due to a big rise in the number of private tenants claiming housing benefit. The NHF said this particular group of people had grown by 42% since 2008…

A government spokesman said it had been taking action to bring the housing benefit bill under control. He said: "Since 2012 the amount going to private sector landlords has actually been falling - something which the National Housing Federation fails to recognise."

That is probably true, the total bill has been hovering around £10 bn for quite a few years.

"We are also committed to building the homes this country needs and investing £8bn to build 400,000 more affordable homes."

That is a lie, or at best a dishonest use of the word "committed", he does not say over how many years. Make a note of the numbers though. They claim they will spend £8 bn (over an unspecified number of years) on building 400,000 homes = £200,000 per home, thus they are vastly overpaying for the land, this is less than what they firehose at landlords each year. Not only that, for every £1 they spend on building new council houses, they will save more than £1 in future because they will have more rental income and/or lower HB bills, so it is not really a cost, it is an investment in the truest sense of the word.

Here comes the stomach churning bit:

Chris Norris, head of policy at the National Landlords Association, said the private rented sector was responding to the increasing demand for homes from a growing proportion of tenants who are being failed by the social housing sector and housing associations.

"The NHF is clearly still reeling from the news that its members have been ordered by government to reduce spending over the next four years, so it comes as no surprise that they are looking to shift the emphasis and point the finger elsewhere.

"However, the private rented sector plays a pivotal role in providing much-needed homes for tenants so there seems no real purpose in the NHF taking a cheap shot at landlords for what is a failure on behalf of successive governments to adequately allocate its housing budget and to incentivise the building of new homes."

That misallocation is precisely what is benefitting his members, every penny spent on HB for private landlords is a penny wasted and a penny not invested in bricks and mortar.