Sale of the century

Looks like the policy prejudice against housing associations and social housing continues apace. We’ll have to wait for the detail to see how David Cameron’s announcement on discounted homes affects the current guidance, regulation and procedures for negotiating planning obligations. However, it’s always worth reading the invariably funny and sometimes cynical Jonathan Guthrie, the FT City Editor. His take is that

This move will do nothing to tackle chronic undersupply. But it will delight property developers who dislike providing rented homes to folks predisposed to store old sofas in their front gardens. Instead, the properties will go to a group closer to the deserving poor — or humanities graduates, as they are known these days.

History or philosophy students should bear in mind that it’s meant to be a satirical piece.  You’ll still be allowed to store sofas outside.

It looks like we could soon be assessing whether it is viable for developers to build housing and sell it for £7,500 per square metre that, in many parts of central London, would sell for more than £10,000 per square metre at full market price. The housing will cost about £4,000 per square metre to develop – including a profit to the developer but excluding land cost. Imagine that all the houses had to be sold at a discount, the land owner would only get £3,500 per square metre of space built rather £6,000 per square metre of space built. Of course, you’ll need to be pretty affluent in the first place to benefit from any discount.

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