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  #1  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2021, 6:27 PM
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To Fix London House Prices, We Should Learn From The 1930s

To Fix London House Prices, We Should Learn From The 1930s


January 29, 2021

Read More: https://www.thelondoneconomic.com/op...e-1930s/29/01/

Quote:
.....

The 1930s saw the largest boom in housebuilding that London has ever seen, with total new builds exceeding 80,000 per year at one point. For comparison, just 32,000 were built in 2017/18 despite the population now being 12 per cent larger. This should lead most people to question what caused this boom, and why can’t we repeat it today?

- The problems start with the green belt. Pre-WW2 Britain had no Greenbelt, nor planning permission system like today. This allowed developers to merely purchase a site, and build a house without jumping through any regulatory barriers (provided it was compliant with the bye-laws for that area). Today, the picture is very different. The Greenbelt currently takes up more than 12 per cent of the total area of England. Surrounding London entirely, it’s twice the size of Luxembourg. This is not in itself a bad thing. A huge amount of the urban growth seen in the 1930s was through low-density suburbia, which comes with significant environmental costs.

- When you combine a greenbelt with a planning system where the presumption is weighted towards refusal, substantial problems arise. When considering whether or not to allow new houses to be built, local authorities are legally required to consult the opinions of current residents in the area, taking their views on the matter into account. However, problems arise when the people who generally take part in these processes are older and wealthier homeowners who would benefit from a shortage. This is because in a shortage home prices will rise, therefore making homeowners investment more lucrative. The institutional framework is designed in a way where a refusal is often predetermined.

- You’re not allowed to build wider due to the greenbelt, and you can’t build denser because local authorities won’t let you. So, where can you build? The answer is nowhere. House building helped get Britain out of depression. In 1932, 17 of the increase in GDP came from this sector alone. When looking at how to recover from Coronavirus, London should take lessons from its older, wiser 1930s self. By building more houses, we can help lessen the largest cause of poverty in the capital and help the city recover from the economic disaster that COVID-19 has ruptured. Taking the simple lesson from the 1930s that we should allow builders to build houses would have a demonstrably positive impact on London. It would raise growth, decrease prices and poverty making London more liveable for the people who live here.

.....



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  #2  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2021, 6:37 PM
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Wasnt that all terrible row houses for miners?
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  #3  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2021, 7:06 PM
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I hope London authorities agree with the conclusions of the article, removing power from local owners to have a saying about new developments. They don't own their neighbourhood, only their houses.

Also, it's about time to build over some parts of the Green Belt. Population has grown since it was enacted and those people need to be housed.

Down here in Brazil, Covid-19 throw the country into recession and the Central Back brought interest rates to an all-time low (2%/year). That helped to create a construction boom from the second half of 2020 onwards, mitigating the economic impact of the pandemic.
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Old Posted Jan 30, 2021, 8:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l3g0 View Post
Wasnt that all terrible row houses for miners?

By the 1920s and 30s, most new housing in London would have been suburban terraces and semi-detached houses in what were then far-flung garden suburbs. That was really the start of the suburban boom there (though they still sure do look better than post-war suburbs).



https://www.gettyimages.ca/photos/uk...rt=mostpopular
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  #5  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2021, 9:12 AM
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It's this -they were all built on traditional vernacular based on the farmhouses of East England (Suffolk, Norfolk).


Jason Hawkes, http://news.bbcimg.co.uk, www.aladyinlondon.com, http://media.rightmove.co.uk



They can be ugly AF due to owners embellishments, and the fact they strayed from the muted greys, blues and greens of the 30s era


www.economicshelp.org, https://lid.zoocdn.com

original colour


https://vice-images.vice.com/images/...put-quality=75


Or just much nicer


https://westlondonfilmoffice.co.uk/l...dor-estate-w5/


Alot are being converted back to their art deco styles:


www.wowhaus.co.uk

https://i.dailymail.co.uk

Last edited by muppet; Feb 1, 2021 at 2:01 PM.
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  #6  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2021, 9:30 AM
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The 'miners houses' are the Georgian/Victorian terraces from a century earlier, which are worth a mint these days -even the ones built for the working classes


Jason Hawkes, http://travelvista.net

www.moneyexpert.com

https://c8.alamy.com/comp/G63PMD/ter...rth-G63PMD.jpg



the working class versions (read: slums) are mostly gone, the last surviving one in central London is now a popular film location. Average price is $1.7 million.


Last edited by muppet; Jan 31, 2021 at 11:21 PM.
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  #7  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2021, 2:25 PM
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Ah i see.

Yeah i cant imagine building suburban style homes will solve a housing crisis in a city.

You need nice condos, for middle class prices. Like a 2 bed for 250k. With a proper layout.

Figure out the height/lot size/floor plan setup to make that happen.
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  #8  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2021, 3:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonkeyRonin View Post
By the 1920s and 30s, most new housing in London would have been suburban terraces and semi-detached houses in what were then far-flung garden suburbs. That was really the start of the suburban boom there (though they still sure do look better than post-war suburbs).



https://www.gettyimages.ca/photos/uk...rt=mostpopular
And these things are absolutely hideous. Ugly and poorly constructed. The last thing London needs is more of that sort of development - or what followed the Second World War.

The problem here is that English people all want to live in houses, rather than apartments like most Europeans, and so providing enough housing units affordably means low quality construction and covering every square inch of open space with grotesque cul-de-sacs. There is a lot of London that isn’t historic housing and could and should be demolished to make way for 6-8 story apartments built up to the lot line (including most of the areas where these 1930s semi-detached houses were built).

Those houses above now line a divided motorway and would be great candidates for redevelopment:
https://goo.gl/maps/qanxxnGjrLK9EviF6
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Last edited by 10023; Jan 31, 2021 at 4:19 PM.
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  #9  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2021, 4:09 PM
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Yep, $250K unfortunately would be one of the cheapest properties in the city that's not shared ownership. It would be a one bed in a tower block notorious for family massacres, or a house on the edge, in the worst borough with a poltergeist, possiby a sinkhole. Post pandemic the average London property price (mostly apartments) is still $704,000, for the smallest average home sizes in the West (UK homes are 25% smaller than in Japan for example).


https://i2-prod.mylondon.news


I think London needs an even bigger reset than a global pandemic can throw (prices still going up), in order to make first time properties affordable even to doctors. Maybe a nuke would do the trick.

Last edited by muppet; Jan 31, 2021 at 11:23 PM.
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  #10  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2021, 4:28 PM
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You can't build new housing for 250k in Columbus, Ohio, so you aren't gonna be able to do it in central London, obviously.

I don't really understand the point of the article as there are obvious reasons why it was easier to build in the 1930's as opposed to today. You could never replicate that era under the current framework.
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  #11  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2021, 5:02 PM
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Basically the article is hinting we should be allowed to build higher, and fuck what the nimby's think. Planning permission has already been relaxed in 2019 insofar as they're now allowed to 'approve' projects and consult after, rather than the other way round. This 'consultation' might be in the form of an A4 stuck to a lamp post before a pigeon eats it.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2021, 5:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muppet View Post
Basically the article is hinting we should be allowed to build higher, and fuck what the nimby's think.
Higher is irrelevant, it's bigger. Larger multifamily buildings. But, as has been mentioned, London is a metro of SFH. It isn't gonna adopt a Barcelona or Vienna-style vernacular.

So many of the new London towers are hideous, and look like they were deliberately intended to clash with one another. Maybe there would be less resistance to larger buildings if there were a common vernacular with some historicist bent, rather than bizarre walkie-talkie and penis buildings.
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  #13  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2021, 5:43 PM
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I think you may be confusing office blocks in the City (which have to 'swerve' outta the way of protected sightlines) with the local vernacular for highrises.

They're actually quite staid:

https://www.skyscrapercity.com/threa...5079/page-1235












The vernacular you do however see EVERYWHERE is the scrubbed two-tone brick and square that's been ongoing for decades, inspired by the docklands conversion of Victorian warehouses from the
1980s onwards. They call it the 'new London vernacular', but it's the same thing I've seen all over the world; don't know whether London's been exporting it or copying it:


https://www.onthemarket.com/details/8736796/

https://www.onthemarket.com/details/8736796/

https://chips.chestertons.com

www.theconstructionindex.co.uk

https://www.skyscrapercity.com/threa...830404/page-14


https://www.wandsworth.gov.uk/media/..._july_2020.pdf

https://i.imgur.com/3f8bWdF.jpg

Last edited by muppet; Feb 1, 2021 at 2:05 PM.
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  #14  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2021, 6:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10023 View Post
Those houses above now line a divided motorway and would be great candidates for redevelopment:
https://goo.gl/maps/qanxxnGjrLK9EviF6
That's not those houses, they're on the other side of London. The pic above is Ilford in 1936. (I know that because I was curious enough to look it up.)
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  #15  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2021, 7:23 PM
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I don't really understand the point of the article as there are obvious reasons why it was easier to build in the 1930's as opposed to today. You could never replicate that era under the current framework.
Not to mention that the rings of low-density sprawl hemming in so many cities are part of the reason they're expensive. If London could go ahead and build actual city on the edge of the actual city, sure that would help--it puts housing where people want to live. But you can built whatever you want at the outer edge of the sprawl and it's not going to make things better for people who want to live in the city.

I guess what I'm saying is this is a hack piece. It's a cheap article that has no point but to exist.
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Old Posted Jan 31, 2021, 8:07 PM
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The rules of suburbia -how to wreck a heritage building. It all falls down to class, as everything, just everything in Britain does, darling.

Working class mistakes: Tracy, let's paint the brick the same colour but brighter, so it gives that nice finished look. Nothing, just nothing will scream 'working class' more unless we paint our bricks red.


https://media.placebuzz.com/c960x730...664531-0-3.jpg


We don't want them thin panels, let's brick it up, solid innit in the cheapest orange bricks with yellow smudges.




Even better, let's make the house look convincing as if it's carved from Mediterranean sandstone. Exotick, like we saw in Spain. It won't look like our home caught a disease.


https://www.neverpaintagain.co.uk/wp...1299023513.jpg



Middle class mistakes: Brian, let's retile the roof, but only one of them. I want it new looking. Let's also forget about the whole 'garden suburb' thing and make a carpark, as I'm not keen on mowing.
I much prefer weeding every crack for the rest of my life


https://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTAyNFgxMDI0/z/ioYAAOSwFfRfSg-7/$_86.JPG


We've restored it perfectly to the ruralised farmhouse look. As a final touch, let's kill the plants for our 3 cars; plus I've always adored Death Valley.




Oh but I do like those Tuscan hues. I was named after Florence you know.




No, how vulgar, dear. Neutral whites and creams, like in Greece. Perfect for sun-stunned British weather, and as bland looking as humanly possible -we'll just ignore the colouring of the roofs
(I mean, who paints their tiles?). Also as much white plastic window frames (howzabout a door too) that can be industrially produced.







https://property-images-uk.s3.eu-wes...75a958a272.jpg




Quick! I just watched Poldark -let's pebble dash everything -evoking those Cornish cottages by the coast, made from stone and seashells. What do you mean mock-Tudor?




And maybe a few discrete add-ons. Everyone needs a yoga studio, and a second office.


https://customloft.co.uk/wp-content/...w-1500x997.jpg, https://359738-1121503-raikfcquaxqnc...tension-16.jpg


And some privacy, you never know who might be looking. Some Spanish palm trees will complete the Norfolk farmhouse look.


https://www.thesun.co.uk/wp-content/...t-of-house.jpg


Upper class mistakes -Calum, we've spent a fortune on the urban Berliner look, to disguise the fact we've blown £2 million on a working man's house and our neigbours are on benefits
-it's ever so convincing for Penge. Oh dear, it may appear I've forgotten about the roof:



No problem! I'll get my people on it -lets make the roof fascist too. Modernism slots perfectly into medieval cottage vernacular:



I'll do a little conservatory action while I'm here, it'll be edgy



Oh let's just do everything. We have the money.



Ooooohhhhh neighbours! We have arrived. It's called sensitive brutalism:




Bonus: 8 in a row special! Tesselated carpark (tick), plastic windows (tick), plastic door (tick), different coloured roofs (tick), stone cladding (tick), red painted bricks (tick), pebble dash (tick), white paint (tick). Bonus: mock tudor cross-hatching in the windows, to convince everyone theyr'e made up of 500 year old diamonds of glass.
Ultimate working class embellishment: satellite dish, periscope.


Last edited by muppet; Feb 1, 2021 at 12:00 AM.
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  #17  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2021, 8:32 PM
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Eye opening photos!

But, those look more middle-class or even upper class design mistakes...except for the formstone (your "Mediterranean sandstone").

I thought that was a uniquely North American atrocity, that stuff is all over the working class neighborhoods of Baltimore, Philadelphia, etc.

Also, while I haven't been the UK, judging from the photos the housing vernacular is very similar the Netherlands, which I guess shouldn't be all that surprising.
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Old Posted Jan 31, 2021, 8:50 PM
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Yep, low light = big windows. Steep roofs for rain.
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Old Posted Jan 31, 2021, 8:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muppet View Post

The vernacular you do however see EVERYWHERE is the scrubbed two-tone brick and square that's been ongoing for decades. They call it the 'new London vernacular', but it's the same thing I've
seen all over the world; don't know whether London's been exporting it or copying it:

Are you sure that's not Chicago's West Loop
https://www.google.com/maps/@41.8817...7i16384!8i8192
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Old Posted Jan 31, 2021, 9:17 PM
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Yep, similar, but the red brick would need to be yellow or chalky in London, and be two-tone. You'll rarely see open concrete either even for lintels -due to the weather it gets stained horribly and has become a sign of a cheap build.

It's the Ram brewery/ Ram Quarter near where I live


http://www.propertyinsidelondon.com/...m-brewery-job/




Note even the tiniest shred of open concrete, no matter how disguised will show itself up after a few years



This one has barely been finished:


Last edited by muppet; Jan 31, 2021 at 11:13 PM.
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