Should we tax un-built homes?

Last week, on the back of a report which showed how many housing plots had planning permission but haven’t been built-out, the Local Government Association (LGA) pushed for these un-built plots to be taxed in order to encourage the developers to speed-up production and delivery.

On the face of it this may sound nice but I don’t support this idea because it will have ‘unforeseen’ consequences which could (or I think will) actually end up with fewer homes being built. There are other ways in which we can get more homes built which are more direct and more certain of being effective.

Part of the problem is that too often ‘we’ are trying to solve the housing supply problem via a single idea, the magic bullet, or the killer-app, whereas there are a number of things we need to do (as I have outlined in previous posts). However, fundamentally, it is the political and economic philosophies we are being controlled by which are causing the problems which we have to deal with.

To be fair to the LGA, taxing undeveloped sites wasn’t the only thing they called for, some of which I have mentioned as being necessary in my earlier posts.

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