Thursday 9 March 2017

The Residual Valuation Model

Why Legislators Have Nothing to Fear from Tougher Building Standards

Simple isn't it? A chain of logic that seems irrefutable.

Legislate to make developers build better (low energy) homes and their build costs will rise.
These homes will not command a higher price, because the market is dominated by the price of existing homes for sale.
So the developer will make less profit.
Less homes will be built at a time when the country desperately needs them.

Our politicians have been buying this argument again and again from well-funded lobbyists working on behalf of housing developers.

The flaw in the logic is the assumption that the developers costs have to rise when you increase building standards. They don't. This is because one of the main costs of building the house is what you pay for the land, and if everyone is faced with the same regulations, then the value of the land is driven down and the landowner makes a slightly smaller profit from the deal.

The windfall from selling land to developers is so significant that a small decrease in the value is not going to slow down the market.