“My message today is very clear: it's time to get building." So said Sajid Javid, from the platform of last month's Conservative party conference. M indful that high house prices frustrate numerous voters trying to get on the property ladder, leading politicians have long been calling for more house building. But, in front of the Tory party faithful in Birmingham in early October, the communities secretary's rhetoric went further – way further – than any cabinet minister before him. "The big developers must release their stranglehold on supply," he said, tearing into UK's all-powerful house building industry. "It's time to stop sitting on land banks and stop delaying build-out. The homebuyers must come first". With these words, accusing the house-builders and developers of deliberately restricting supply, to keep prices high and so boost profits, Javid transformed a notion long-dismissed as a conspiracy theory into the official view of the Government. Using terms like "stranglehold" and "land banks", Javid, a cabinet heavyweight, set in train what looks likely to be a showdown between the Government and the housing giants. "If you're afraid of controversy then you shouldn't be in politics. You have to say what's right and get things done," he… Read full this story
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