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Evening Standard: "London suburbs facing housing crisis as building work grinds to a halt"

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"London's housing crisis will engulf the suburbs in the next decade, because of a huge shortfall of new homes in outer boroughs, a report warns today.

"... The warning came as figures from the Nationwide showed London property prices surged by 14.9 per cent in 2013, to an average of £345,186, with a 4.7 per cent rise in the last quarter alone.

"Developers blamed 'Nimby councils' for refusing planning permission and relatively low property values compared with central London, for the failure to build the needed number of homes in London’s 'doughnut ring'.

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CPRE: "Where will we live?"

"There is a fascinating analysis of the housing crisis by James Meek in the current issue of the London Review of Books. Much of it is concerned with the ‘bedroom tax’ and changes to the benefit regime, and some readers will not get beyond the first paragraph, with its overly-cynical suggestion that the Government is engaged in a ‘let-the-poor-be-poor crusade, a Campaign for Real Poverty’.

"But take or leave the leftist polemic, the article is well worth reading, not least because it suggests that the housing crisis is harder to solve and more complex than politicians from any of the major parties would have us believe.

"Housing has moved up the political agenda, but the proposed solutions are inadequate to the challenge we face. In particular, Meek dismisses the view that simply releasing more land for development will solve the problem.

"He notes that:
"Some believe the aim of Britain’s private housebuilders is to build as many homes as possible, and that they are only prevented from doing so by a cranky planning system. But putting aside land for houses isn’t the same as building them.

The historical evidence suggests Britain’s private housebuilders have been driven less by the urge to build the maximum number of new homes, than by the urge to make as much (or lose as little) money as possible."

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