Halleluiah and good on you Boris for your championing the cause of new homes in London. We build 5% of the homes we need in the Capital and the supply is being strangled by politically inept planning councils and lenders who are being thoroughly over cautious and risk averse and are conspiring to limit new house building.
The aim of building 42,000 new homes per year for the next ten years is ambitious but if you don’t set a benchmark you will never improve on your performance.
The idea of a quasi bank is a good one although I’m not sure how it will operate or who will underwrite it.
If only the Department of the Environment would take over more of the planning process from the Local Councils whose tortured decision making ability is tainted by local politics and brand standing for votes before a local election.
Planning matters should be judged on their merits and should be refreshingly absent of local politics.
As for Boris’ desire to confine developments to UK buyers and prevent the pilgrimage of developers to the Orient, and other areas of the globe, looking for foreign investors I’m not sure if this is workable.
It is laudable in its ambitions but, lets be real here, if agents don’t sell into the fertile markets, whether they be in London, UK or from foreign lands, their developer clients will give them a ‘tweak on the ear’ and make them do what is in the developers best interest. If the agents don’t oblige they will be ‘booted’ out.
I think we must all accept that London is, after all, one of the most desirable places to live and as such will attract potential buyers from all over the world. These investors help to contribute towards the health of the market that is in the interest of the UK.
These investors bring foreign earnings, employment, in-ward investment and are part of the wealth of the Nation. As long as they are coming in they are not going out and we should do everything possible to encourage them.
You cannot interfere with the smooth running of markets, much as you’d like to Boris, although the sentiments expressed by you are well taken and very sincere.