Much concern in London over the wrong kind of housing being built: London’s stock of unsold homes soared to 2,374 at 30 September 2018 from 1,595 at the end of 2017. That’s the highest on record.
Quote: “Some of this excess has built up because it’s the wrong product at the wrong pricing for what people want to, and can afford to buy,” said Tim Craine, founder of the property research firm (Molior London).
No wonder house prices in London have been sliding since mid–2017 and the sales outlook is the worst in 20 years, as few owners are willing to sell at prevailing prices.
Now compare that to the situation in Penang. Check out this report: “In 2017, Penang had 2,271 unsold units; this increased by 990 to 3,261 units in 2018.”
The situation in Johor is even worse: the property overhang there in 2018 was 13,767.
Unless I am missing something, these figures are higher than London’s overhang of 2,374! Bear in mind that London has a population of 8.1 million while Penang has a population of just 1.7 million and Johor 3.5 million.
But both London and Penang face similar problems: too much of the wrong kind of housing – expensive high-end stuff – and not enough of genuinely affordable housing. Yet, over here our planners are so cool about this mismatch.
If that’s not bad enough, the draft Penang Structure Plan 2030 wants to reclaim another 7,700 acres of land until 2030. Why reclaim so much land when you just know that the prices of housing on such reclaimed land are likely to be beyond the reach of most people.
So why are we doing this kind of nonsensical planning? Who are we planning and building for?