Sunday, 24 April 2016

A solution to our housing problems >>> deter property and land speculation

Is this an idea whose time has come?
Futures Forum: Why is housing so expensive? ... and what could Land Value Taxation contribute? Meeting in Exeter: Wednesday 25th February
Futures Forum: A land conference: Exeter: Saturday 21st March >>> "How can we grow a proper relationship between people and place?"

Land value tax
A land/location value tax (LVT),[1] also called a site valuation tax, split rate tax, or site-value rating, is a levy on the unimproved value of land. It is an Ad valorem tax that, unlike property taxes, disregards the value ofbuildings, personal property and other improvements.[2] The economic efficiency of a land value tax has been known since the eighteenth century.[3] Many economists since Adam Smith and David Ricardo advocated for this tax, but it is most famously associated with Henry George, who argues that because the supply of land is fixed and the values of land's locations is created by communities and public works, the economic rent of land is the most logical source of public revenue.[4]

Land value tax - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Land rent for public revenue

The Scottish government is certainly considering doing something:
The lairds of Panama: Investigation shows £100m of Scotland owned offshore - Daily Record
Common Space - David Cameron’s family finances linked to ownership of Scottish tax haven land
New rules on land ownership if SNP returned to power - The Scotsman

Conservative councillors in England are worried:
‘The major cause of our housing crisis is the price of the land,’ says Roger Gambba-Jones, a Tory councillor in south Lincolnshire.
Britain’s farmland has become a tax haven. Who dares reform it? | Peter Hetherington | Society | The Guardian

A land tax is being considered Down Under:
PM hints at land tax to rein in foreign speculators | Stuff.co.nz
Stamp Duty and Land Tax Surcharges - foreign buyers may pay 12.5% duty in Victoria - Lexology
What a broad land tax would cost you | afr.com

The New Economics Forum has just put together a three-minute video which has a land tax as a conclusion:


Why you can't afford a home in the UK - YouTube
The UK housing crisis explained in 3 minutes | New Economics Foundation

With some questions - and answers:
The financialisation of UK homes | New Economics Foundation

And some solutions:

Four steps to fix the UK’s housing crisis

Photo credit: Chris Guy

The last two decades have seen UK house prices spiral out of control. Many of us are being priced out of the market, as wages lag behind the speed at which house prices are rising across the UK.

We’re often told that building more homes will fix the problem, but the current affordability crisis is actually being driven by a combination of factors that no one is talking enough about: excessive bank lending against property, rising land prices, the preferential tax treatment that’s tied up with owning a home, and government subsidies for mortgage debt.

The recent growth in mortgage lending worrying the Bank of England is not down to a surge in first time buyers, but the result of more people becoming buy-to-let landlords. What’s more, it’s serving to inflate house prices further – creating a self-fulfilling cycle of even larger loans required to cover spiralling house prices, relative to incomes.

In many places now the cost of housing is out of control – not just in terms of buying a house, but paying high rents to landlords with the genuinely affordable rents of social housing becoming a thing of the past.

But in one of the wealthiest countries, the idea that we should all have somewhere warm and dry to call home shouldn’t be out of the question.

The way our housing market is currently functioning is not sustainable, but it’s also not inevitable.

So how can we make housing affordable again?

NEF is working with campaigners, researchers and policy-makers to develop proposals that will stabilise house prices and ensure we have sufficient good-quality homes for the emerging needs of the population. We will focus on the following four areas:

1. Deterring property and land speculation:
Develop mechanisms to separate the cost of land from that of a home and bring more land into public and communal ownership. NEF is working on a proposal for this and will be inviting feedback over the coming months. If you would like to receive updates, you can sign-up here

2. Achieving a diversity of housing supply and improving options for debt-free homes across the UK:

Remove government subsidies directed at boosting homeownership and reinstate the commitment to provide public housing, allowing for genuinely affordable social rents
Support the growth of low-debt ownership such as cooperative housing schemes and community land trusts through prioritising not-for-profit housing developments on available land

3. Demanding a more secure and affordable private rented sector:
Support tenants in their demands to professionalise the private rented sector, increasing the length and security of tenures
Set rent according to people’s incomes

4. Diversifying the banking sector so it builds the economy, not bubbles:
Impose limits on the amount of debt that banks can hold that against property
Establish public and local stakeholder banks across the country focussed on lending to small and medium sized businesses

Four steps to fix the UK’s housing crisis | New Economics Foundation

Of course, not everyone agrees:
Countries with no property taxes where you REALLY own your home | Nomad Capitalist

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