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  #21  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2017, 11:16 PM
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^ which is exactly why they don't need to be building more crap like those photos. This country needs bigger, multi-unit buildings. Or at least more rowhouses built with 4-5 floors instead of two story detached single family.
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  #22  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2017, 1:03 AM
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  #23  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2017, 1:08 AM
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  #24  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2017, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
Really? You mean in the developed world, right?

Anecdotally, British homes seem a lot smaller/more modest on average than German homes, but Germans tend to have multigenerational homes, so not sure if directly comparable.
? The percentage of seniors living with their adult children is actually slightly higher in the UK than in Germany, while three-generational homes are a negligible share (<1%) in both countries.

It's what Jonesy said. Brits love their terraces, and in a country as crowded as the UK that means less space fore everyone.
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  #25  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2017, 2:47 AM
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? The percentage of seniors living with their adult children is actually slightly higher in the UK than in Germany, while three-generational homes are a negligible share (<1%) in both countries.
I'm not talking about multigenerational households, I'm talking about larger homes hosting multiple units.

German homes are frequently multi-unit housing, traditionally hosting multiple generations. But they're separate households. "Mother in law" units are separate, even if part of the same house. British terrace housing consists of single unit, single households, with no accessory units.
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  #26  
Old Posted Oct 2, 2017, 12:31 PM
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The Green Belt is a very raw topic, and it would be difficult to see any wide-spread development of any kind without significant fallout. There is still a lot of former industrial land across London that is ripe for development before consideration could be given for indiscriminate construction across the Green Belt. A lot of the post-WW2 estates could also be redeveloped to substantially raise the density of certain neighbourhoods. And if things really did start getting tight, a lot of the pre-war semi-detached homes that dominate Outer London could be redeveloped on a large scale.

Certain locations within London which are in the Green Belt do however offer scope for targeted development. The image below is of Crews Hill in the London Borough of Enfield; it is dominated by agricultural land, with the remainder of the area composed of woodlands, a golf course, public gardening centres and some nestled residential properties. Crews Hill station (clearly visible at the centre top of the image) is served by 3tph into Moorgate throughout the week (2tph on weekends); Transport for London are keen to boost take over the line and increase frequencies further. Yet development around the station is very limited, as are car parking facilities. Crews Hill demonstrates the issues around the Green Belt, namely that is rather nonchalant in its coverage regardless of the suitability for potential development.


Source: Bing Maps


There are some tube stations on the Central Line (Barkingside, Fairlop, Grange Hill and Theydon Bois [pictured below]), Piccadilly Line (Cockfosters and Oakwood) which are directly adjacent to Green Belt agricultural land. There are countless others which are within 100m of Green Belt land.


Source: Bing Maps


Going beyond London – but still in the Green Belt – there are some peculiar situations where entire commuter towns are constructed on one side of the tracks. Take Harlow – pictured below – a post-war New Town built to rehouse Londoners who lost their home during the Blitz. Yet all of the town was built on one side of the tracks, admittedly part of that is due to the River Stort floodplain, but Harlow is just over 30 minutes train journey to Central London. With sufficient flood relief, it would be possible to construct thousands of residential units on the other side of the tracks. There are other examples where areas adjacent to a heavy rail station are not optimised due to the Green Belt.


Source: Bing Maps


Another discussion point is that of golf courses; they consume a lot of land in and around London, and sometimes in prime locations that would make far better sense for alternative uses. Consider the area in south-west London bordered by the District Line, South West Main Line, Reading to Waterloo Line and Kingston Loop Line; there are ten golf courses within this area. That isn’t to say that all these parcels of land ought to be concreted over, but golfing is a niche activity that consumes a disproportionate amount of land. Outside of London, the situation gets even more silly; Surrey which directly borders south-west London has more land dedicated to golf courses than homes.

Which then brings me onto HS2 which will be a massive disruptor. HS2 will be a high-capacity, high-frequency HSR network; the first in Europe and comparable to the Beijing-Shanghai HSR and Tōkaidō Shinkansen. Take Birmingham; property prices are two thirds cheaper than those in London, and with HS2 the city – the second largest in the UK – will be just 49mins from London. Birmingham and other cities connected to HS2 could thus take a lot of residential construction relief away from London, whilst offering a viable commuting option to the British capital. HS2 also frees up a significant number of paths into Euston, King’s Cross and St Pancras that HS2 and thus open up further development opportunities in current commuter towns in the regions.

Relocating Heathrow to the Thames Estuary has been openly discussed for several decades, but if it were to, it would unlock the potential for hundreds of thousands of residential units, all within London and with excellent transport connections. One other side point of HS2 is that it also helps provide relief to another major issue facing London; the lack of aviation capacity; Birmingham International Airport and Manchester Airport will be just 39mins and 59mins respectively from Central London with HS2.
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  #27  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2017, 3:28 PM
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I dread to think how much a Birmingham-London season ticket on HS2 will cost!
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  #28  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2017, 3:33 PM
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HSR in the UK likely wouldn't increase supercommuting. UK train tickets are very high, and any premium services on a potential HSR line wouldn't have appropriate pricing for the target market (people who can't afford homes in the SE).

If the overall objective is "increase affordability in the UK" it probably makes more sense to incentivize deconcentration of industry out of the SE, as in Germany. Germany does not have an affordability issue, and one can access plentiful good jobs in basically every major metro area.
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  #29  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2017, 4:06 PM
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Japans rail network routes everything to Tokyo making the whole country Tokyo’s metro area centred around Tokyo. No wonder it’s congested.
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  #30  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2017, 8:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonesy55 View Post
I dread to think how much a Birmingham-London season ticket on HS2 will cost!
Not enough to make up for the difference in real estate costs. I can see why some people would want to do that. Personally I wouldn't want to leave Zone 1, but some people.
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  #31  
Old Posted Oct 7, 2017, 3:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
HSR in the UK likely wouldn't increase supercommuting. UK train tickets are very high, and any premium services on a potential HSR line wouldn't have appropriate pricing for the target market (people who can't afford homes in the SE).
Indicative fare pricing is to be unveiled later this year, but in an interview with the Financial Times earlier this year, Sir David Higgins who leads the HS2 project had this to say:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Financial Times
He said the line would carry up to 600,000 passengers a day and seats should be filled by copying budget airlines, by offering early bookers cheaper fares. “You look at EasyJet or Ryanair or Eurostar. These services are full all the time. People will want to know they can book in advance, they can always get a seat and it is reliable. It is everyday efficient low prices,” he said.
Source: Financial Times - https://www.ft.com/content/2398acc2-...e-a5e3738f9ae4

In the same interview Sir Higgins stated that HS2 would act as a relief for the property prices in London; commuting between the UK’s major population centres is undoubtedly a viable goal of HS2 when considering the low journey times, high frequencies and significantly lower house prices in the regional cities. I should add that HS2 isn’t just about making it easier to get to/from London; journey times between the other major cities will be drastically cut with Birmingham to Manchester in 41mins and Birmingham to Leeds in 57mins.
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  #32  
Old Posted Oct 7, 2017, 4:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Jonesy55 View Post
I dread to think how much a Birmingham-London season ticket on HS2 will cost!
At first sight, peanuts, compared to the difference in cost for equivalent housing.

I expect that the group for which it would make the greatest financial sense are the people who earn enough (in London) to be a homeowner in Birmingham while they'd be stuck renting for the rest of their lives in London.

But if you can own in either city, then it might not be worth it to endure that commute, all things considered (greater leverage in London, more opportunity for appreciation). Depends of course on your personal tolerance to commuting. I've never commuted on a regular schedule, but I think I wouldn't mind it at all (if I don't have to drive). I would love the isolation with a good book, or use the opportunity to do some extra work.
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  #33  
Old Posted Oct 7, 2017, 4:13 PM
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We're starting to hear rumblings from people who want to get rid of the greenbelt (called the Agricultural Land Reserve here) in Vancouver too, and I'm sure there'll be talk in Toronto soon if it's not there already. But I'm skeptical about finding a solution through building more in world real estate cities like London, Toronto and Vancouver. The demand seems never ending, so the supply isn't the root cause of the issue.
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  #34  
Old Posted Oct 7, 2017, 5:52 PM
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But I'm skeptical about finding a solution through building more in world real estate cities like London, Toronto and Vancouver. The demand seems never ending, so the supply isn't the root cause of the issue.
The issues in London are completely different than in Toronto and, especially Vancouver. Really the only similarity is that all three cities have high RE prices for ownership real estate.
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  #35  
Old Posted Oct 7, 2017, 6:09 PM
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All three cities have extraordinary foreign demand, even if it's from different source countries.
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  #36  
Old Posted Oct 7, 2017, 6:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crawford View Post

If the overall objective is "increase affordability in the UK" it probably makes more sense to incentivize deconcentration of industry out of the SE, as in Germany. Germany does not have an affordability issue, and one can access plentiful good jobs in basically every major metro area.
Unfortunately we have literally no idea how to do this.

Industries go where they want to go and its a waste of resources trying to manage it.
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  #37  
Old Posted Oct 7, 2017, 8:28 PM
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Indeed, top-down decentralization rarely works.

Having lived in Surrey until fairly recently, it always struck me how little new residential construction there is in the Southeast, even outside the greenbelt, given the region's population growth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
I'm not talking about multigenerational households, I'm talking about larger homes hosting multiple units.

German homes are frequently multi-unit housing, traditionally hosting multiple generations. But they're separate households. "Mother in law" units are separate, even if part of the same house. British terrace housing consists of single unit, single households, with no accessory units.
Germans adults are actually the least likely Europeans to live in close proximity to their parents. What you're describing isn't a very common situation.

Germany has btw also seen a sharp increase in property prices and rents in many areas, largely due to NIMBYism.
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  #38  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2017, 2:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nito View Post
Indicative fare pricing is to be unveiled later this year, but in an interview with the Financial Times earlier this year, Sir David Higgins who leads the HS2 project had this to say:


Source: Financial Times - https://www.ft.com/content/2398acc2-...e-a5e3738f9ae4

In the same interview Sir Higgins stated that HS2 would act as a relief for the property prices in London; commuting between the UK’s major population centres is undoubtedly a viable goal of HS2 when considering the low journey times, high frequencies and significantly lower house prices in the regional cities. I should add that HS2 isn’t just about making it easier to get to/from London; journey times between the other major cities will be drastically cut with Birmingham to Manchester in 41mins and Birmingham to Leeds in 57mins.
They are going to have to be a lot cheaper than current season tickets if anybody is going to commute using HS2.



You might as well just get a job in Birmingham and save the commuting time and expense, the cost of that ticket is quite a bit more than the difference in average net wages between London and Birmingham.
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  #39  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2017, 6:31 PM
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But Birmingham will be an hour from London by then (rather than 3 hrs), or your average commute time actually within the capital. If you buy a house in Brum you'll get the London payscale, and save over 2/3 on your house. At the moment the average London house price going is $805,000, for Birmingham (with larger homes) it's $237,000.

Or a saving of $568,000 for the $14,145 annual ticket. It would take you 53 years of commuting to lose your advantage, without inflation adjustment.

So a good investment. You've just got to put up with living in Birmingham.


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  #40  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2017, 7:47 PM
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It's only 75-80 minutes by train now on the Virgin services which are every 20 minutes through the day. There are also slower and cheaper London Midland services which stop at more intermediate stations and take over 2 hours, plus the Chiltern Line services into London Marylebone which take around 1h45.

The 50-60 minute trip on HS2 would be fine if you happened to live right next to the new HS2 station in Birmingham and worked right next to Euston but for the vast majority i don't think that would be the case and once you add on extra transport time at one or both ends it's soon going to add up to a long commute anyway. Those few homes right next to Birmingham HS2 are soon going to get expensive too I think, you can see the same in Milton Keynes now, housing there is generally reasonable by Southeast standards but the central apartments right next to the station are a lot pricier than average for the city as you can get into Central London within 35 minutes if you live in one of them.

I'd suggest if you are going to live in Birmingham you might as well get a job there too and save yourself the expense and time of the commute.

Last edited by Jonesy55; Oct 8, 2017 at 8:09 PM.
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