Are developers to blame for creating a housing shortfall?

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From: Gordon Bray, Grange Road, Golcar, Huddersfield.

YOUR headline (The Yorkshire Post, October 15) highlighted the region’s housing shortfall.

It then goes on to state that the cost of a house has gone up by 12.9 per cent in the last year. Why is this so? I do not think that the brick layers, joiners, plasterers etc. who are building houses have been given a 12.9 per cent rise in their wages (more like one per cent) or that the cost of bricks, sand, cement and timber etc has increased by 12.9 per cent so why have house prices increased by so much?

Perhaps there is a clue in The Yorkshire Post Business section on the same day. Here you report on the record profits of house builder Bellway where profits have increased by 75 per cent over the same period.

It seems to me that house builders, particularly the big companies, are buying up large plots of green belt land and then sitting on it in order to create a shortfall so they can hike up the prices.

One way of dealing with a big rise in price of an article in a shop is to refuse to buy it and wait for the price to come down in the sale. This Government doesn’t like that idea for houses so has come up with a help to buy scheme which is encouraging prospective home owners to take on ever increasing debt so that their friends, the developers, can continue to fleece us all.

From: Mrs Pamela Z Frankland, Hull Road, Dunnington, York.

REGARDING James Hopwood’s comment (The Yorkshire Post, October 11), his statement “Forget Careers Advice, Farming Pays” is surely a contradiction in terms.

James is not farming but his firm is making their living out of farming as one of the many ancillary trades doing so.

As I have written previously, there are so many processes
to go through before food
reaches the plate. When we
grow potatoes, which are not worth a hoot, contracts are broken at their discretion – as with milk.

Agricultural colleges are full of students, but few actually want to farm, preferring to work in farm-related trades, as does James!

Throughout the world, no-one wants to farm. Japan has the oldest farmers and we have a 65 years old average and Europe is not too far behind.

As an 80 plus-year-old in January, I despair at this year’s prices. We had quality and quantity wheat and rape crops. It is not just dairy farmers who are suffering, we all are. Prices are dire.