We must wake up to the fact that national political parties are not protecting local interests and are not standing up for the countryside.
By Ben Paton
The machinery of government at all levels now works sedulously with developers to work around age-old constraints on housebuilding.
One argument is that the end justifies the means. House prices are too high and the solution is to build more houses.
The argument is made that house prices are high because not enough houses are being built.
Annual supply has varied between roughly 0.6% and 1% of the total stock of houses. However, it is facile to argue that increasing the supply of new houses will materially affect the price level for the 23.4 million homes in the country.
If the number of homes built each year doubles will it reduce the price of houses? It would add less than 1% to the housing stock, which will make next to no difference to house prices and considerably less difference than the effects of interest rates, QE and foreign investment.
The segment of the housing market where there is an acute shortage is in what used to be called council housing. Guildford Borough Council had not built any council houses for some 20 years (until very recently), it has also been busy selling them off. It owns 15% fewer council houses than it did in 2000.