Thursday, 28 November 2013

Pot, kettle, boot, other foot etc.

Via Alan at HPC, who asks: "Would the DM adopt the same tone for illegal Bulgarians living in Cheltenham?"

From The Daily Mail:

'We're trapped in a ghost town': The 100,000 British expats whose Spanish homes could be bulldozed any day

* Thousands told their homes were built illegally after they bought them
* 'Barmy' planning rules and topsy-turvy laws leave residents in limbo
* Concrete jungles left behind as construction stops mid-development...


Yes, what the Spanish authorities are doing is completely mad, but it is no worse than what the self-same DM readers are trying to impose on the next generation in the UK.

Do these people not realise that from the Spaniards' point of view they are "immigrants putting pressure on local services, concreting over swathes of the Spanish countryside, etc"?

So they've lost money? Tough. That is absolutely no different to forcing first time buyers in the UK vastly overpay for the privilege of having somewhere to live.

9 comments:

L fairfax said...

Actually lots of Spaniards suffer as well their own homes will be bulldozed.

"Do these people not realise that from the Spaniards' point of view they are "immigrants putting pressure on local services, concreting over swathes of the Spanish countryside, etc"?"
The Spanish have already concreted over swathes of Spanish countryside they are desperate for someone to fill it.

I bet in Sesena they would like foreigners to live there possibly even aliens from Mars would be welcome! The population in the UK is much higher and the area much smaller.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/spain/9087498/The-ghost-towns-of-Spain-Images-that-are-desolate-symbols-of-collapsed-property-market.html

Mark Wadsworth said...

LF, you've just contradicted yourself.

You say that the UK population is higher and the area smaller (true, although you hereby imply that we are somehow 'overcrowded' here, which we are not, we just don't enough bloody homes for those without them, and the ones we do have are too expensive) but then claim that the Spanish have concreted over swathes of their countryside.

If space is not at a premium over there, then your second claim about "swathes of countryside" is bordering on the hysterical.

The point is, what they are doing is shit and what the UK NIMBYs are doing is shit, they are as bad as each other.

L fairfax said...

The Spanish have got lots of empty homes so immigrants are not causing the countryside to be built on they are filling homes that will never be filled without immigration. (Why the Spanish built so many empty houses is another question).

Of course the other solution to solve the problem of too many empty homes in Spain is bulldozing some. It does mean that buying a house in Spain is a lottery which is hardly beneficial to the Spanish economy possibly even worse than Nimbyism to the UK economy. If a contract is not a contract a country can't exist.

L fairfax said...

Isn't overcrowded partly a point of view? If we need to build new schools etc then surely we are partly overcrowded?
Where I live they are building 3 new primary schools and they are needed.
I admit that I haven't fully researched this and possibly there were the same number of schools sometime in the past.

Bayard said...

LF, out in the countryside nearly every large village had a school. Nearly all of these have now closed. This suggests that there are other forces at work apart from immigration.

Ben Jamin' said...

Question for you all.

If Spain over supplied it's housing market over a decade by 3 million homes, why did prices keep rising astronomically?

The reason I ask is, according to some economists, location values are merely a construction of Government regulation ie planning.

But Spain didn't seem to give too much consideration to planning and it still suffered a massive property bubble.

I don't get it. Surely a massive over supply of something leads to a price drop, no?

Answers on a post card please to Alex Morton, Policy Exchange.

Mark Wadsworth said...

LF, in some regards, what Spain did is even worse than what the UK did, but they both led to the same Home-Owner-Ist result, massive misallocation of capital/money and a bank crisis, economic collapse and so on. The difference is only a question of degree.

BJ, t'was a price bubble, down to easy lending. Once prices go up more than the interest costs you, the bubble is self-reinforcing. Until it pops.

Morton's view is correct in one respect, those countries which over-built (Ireland, Spain) had the deepest house price crashes - altho' these do not affect cities (where the rental values are unchanged), only the new estates in the middle of nowhere.

Ugliness aside, Texas has got the right balance - liberal planning laws but high property taxes, so stuff doesn't get built unless it's needed (good) and there is a dampener on prices (the new supply and the tax). What's not to like?

Bayard said...

BJ, I've thought about that, too and come to the conclusion that planning laws actually keep land prices down, agricultural land, that is. Plots with permission go for the true price dictated by the prevailing bubble, the price of credit and the location value, and agricultural land prices are kept down tto the price of land in the middle of nowhere, which is one reason why releasing more land for building doesn't put building land prices down.

L fairfax said...

"Question for you all.

If Spain over supplied it's housing market over a decade by 3 million homes, why did prices keep rising astronomically? "
Because people believed that prices would keep rising astronomically.
When the crash came it was awful.

"Texas has got the right balance - liberal planning laws but high property taxes, so stuff doesn't get built unless it's needed (good) and there is a dampener on prices (the new supply and the tax). What's not to like?"
I agree