Mark Wadsworth

This is a spare 'blog in case my main 'blog at markwadsworth.blogspot.com isn't working

Another day, another reckless throw of the dice (44)

From the BBC:

“A London council is to help families get on the housing ladder by offering tenants and first-time buyers £50,000 deposits. Wandsworth councillors will discuss plans to set up a special “deposit fund” to help low-income families…

The council is to lobby Government for the financial freedom to create a “deposit pool” funded from the sale of council housing and future development. Initially, interest-free deposits of up to £50,000 would be repaid back into the fund once the property was eventually sold.”

I refuse to believe that a council could, collectively, be so stupid as to imagine that this will help those whom it is supposed to help and assume that this is downright corruption, i.e. maybe a lot of the councillors own buy-to-let flats in the area and they want to be able to sell them at a high a price as possible.

What this council cheerfully overlooks is that it is a f-ing council!

If the council gives somebody an interest-free loan, repayable when the home is sold, then it is effectively part-owner of that home but is not charging rent for it and is bearing a lot of the risk of the value falling. That’s about the worst position you could be in.

Alternatively, for £50,000 they can build a whole flat or maybe a small house and own it outright. Sure, land is expensive round there, but it’s actually only land with planning permission which is expensive. Land without planning permission is pretty cheap wherever it is. And the council is in charge of granting planning permission, so it can give itself planning permission for free. Problem solved.

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