Housebuilders sitting on 600,000 plots of land, while taxpayers pour in billions through Help To Buy
The Guardian reveals the extend of plc house builders landbanking in an article published on December 30 2018.
Sadly omits Churchill Retirement and McCarthy and Stone – the latter having a particularly healthy land bank. It argued that – among other things – ground rents paid for land acquisitions.
These hugely taxpayer subsidised companies also like to run off and flog their properties to non-domiciled investors last trade shows in Hong Kong and Singapore.
It is difficult to envisage a more unhealthy residential property market than the one England had adopted (things are better in Scotland, where the market is overwhelmingly mortgage driven from local purchasers).
A report last year by JP Morgan established that what the £12bn spent by the government on the help-to-buy scheme since 2013 has mostly achieved is to allow builders to charge more for new homes.
A Morgan Stanley report shows the government’s subsidy has driven up the price of new-build homes – and now it is lining up another £10bn
The Chartered Institute of Housing says that in 2016-17, the government charged homeowners £10bn in tax, mostly on stamp duty on house sales, and granted £39bn in tax relief.
By contrast, private landlords paid net tax of around £8bn. Landlords effectively pass on that extra cost in higher rents, however.
As the report points out, the benefit system picks up the slack, with around £15bn a year going to social housing tenants and £8.5bn to private renters.
The report makes the point that Help To Buy is now as embedded in the property system as the Bank of England’s low interest rates.
Contrary to expectations, an exhaustive analysis of government spending, taxation and regulation of the housing market reaches the conclusion that home-owners are the most subsidised, followed by social housing tenants and then private landlords and renters.