Yet again, the Norn Iron news is up in arms about property prices. First off, a little glimpse of the happy news. For me, anyway.
Property prices are now rising at a rate of more than £100 a day in Northern Ireland.
Happy happy joy joy.
But on a less selfish note: This is pricing a hell of a lot of people out of the market. Which is never a good thing. But there is a simple financial reason: supply and demand. More people want houses than can buy them, so the price will rise. So build more and the rate of rise will slow; don’t (for example) make it more difficult for people to build.
Other things you shouldn’t do, yet are being talked about in the article:
- taking land away from property speculators who have failed to build housing on it – because that would be theft, m’kay, and that is bad.
- vesting empty properties – see above.
Of course, I’m not all negative. Some of the ideas aren’t bad: removing stamp duty (and not just for politicians) would be good, as would upping the help for co-ownership schemes, and helping housing associations.
It’s just that the two negatives would outweigh the goods. And they’re not talking about removing some of the planning burden, so they’re not thinking about things seriously.