Thoughts from our Property Experts

Use it or lose it

by Adrian Black Adrian Black, author of this post , Wednesday 28 May 2014


Recently I had dinner with one MP and breakfast with another - both from the same party.

Having become an estate agent in 2007, from being Head of Technology Development at Goldman Sachs, I'm very interested and focussed on doing what I can to improve the property industry and make more homes available in the UK.

I like the labour party idea of making developers use land or lose their planning permissions - I'm not going to talk about political bent but let’s consider some logic:

- Homes are in short supply

- Socially and economically it’s good for people to own homes

- Interest rates are at an all-time low due to QE - which is really a (correct) massive government subsidy to get the economy going

- The government own a lot of the banks

- Developers own a lot of land

- Developers borrow a lot of money from the banks to support their carried interest in land

......then surely developers are being subsidised by the government - and the government should be doing all it can to get developers to build for the greater good.

The reaction I received from one MP was totally disagree - this is not at all free enterprise - where is the risk reward?

The reaction from the other was - very sensible, let’s talk more.

Let’s certainly talk more - we are in highly subsidised, highly unusual times where we have to work hard to balance the economy - in a commercial way - for the benefit of all so we are motivated, productive and fair - and building homes is a big part of this.