Property prices – no news
Property prices continue to rise, with demand – fuelled by a growing number of schemes – outstripping supply. The rising cost of living in London makes the dystopian suppositions of a rich city of towering over the poor less and less mythical. Canary Wharf skyscrapers erected with funds from Build to Rent, where tenants will be paying £1,700 per month, means that even Help to Buy is inaccessible to many, as put forward by The Resolution Foundation thinktank.
In pursuit of more homes
Self-build is an initiative proposed by the the Conservative planning minister, Nick Boles. It gives young people access to plots of land to build their own homes. Only only 12 such plots have been allocated thus far, with hopes for more. At the same time, property shortage concerns are nested cosily next to a growing need for more energy efficient homes, like the aptly named “passivhaus“.
On a grander scale, things seem to gain serious proportions. Emma Reynolds, the shadow housing minister, is promising to build five new towns, in an attempt to match the fervour of post-war house-building that gave birth to Basildon in Essex and Stevenage in Hertfordshire. The idea is to build them near HS2, in order to help commuters priced out of big cities.
All this drive is not helped by the growing fears that some new developments will destroy the quiet villages and areas of outstanding beauty. Plans to build 13 new homes on land of Kingsdale Court in Cotswold were met with discontent amidst the residents. To compensate for the damage that new developments can cause to the natural environment and wildlife, the government is promoting biodiversity offsetting schemes, that have just come under scrutiny last week.