Left to right: Rodger Till (The High Street Group), Liam Halligan and Mark Walton (Walton Robinson)
Respected economist and journalist Liam Halligan showcased his latest book, ‘Home Truths’, to a group of property sector specialists at an event hosted by Walton Robinson and The High Street Group.
Held at St James’ Park, the event focused on the UK housing industry and the challenges facing the sector as well as the opportunities to boost home building.
Combining analysis with reportage, ‘Home Truths’ draws on extensive interviews with cabinet ministers, civil servants, planning officials and leading property industry specialists. It also contains some eye-catching policy proposals for regional and national government to boost housing development in the UK.
Among them is the idea to remove Section 106 and community involvement commitments from developers when they acquire land to, instead, presenting 50 percent of the value of the land to the local authority, which can then invest the money into infrastructure such as infrastructure and schools. This will reduce the speculative price of land and enable local authorities to deliver amenities at the same time houses are being built.
Liam, who writes a weekly column in the Sunday Telegraph and is a regular commentator on television and radio working for Channel 4, the BBC and CNN, also talked about the role of Small and Medium-Sized house builders and developers have to play in delivering new homes and how government can better support an upturn in the creation of new properties.
Mark Walton, Managing Director of Walton Robinson, said: “We were delighted to welcome Liam to Newcastle and hear his insightful assessment of the housing sector and some of the solutions he believes can tackle shortages and encourage more house building.
“It certainly stimulated debate around the table from our guests from across the North East’s property sector who are playing their part in providing this region with a strong mix of residential property.
“The proposals Liam discussed were fascinating and it will be interesting to delve deeper into them by reading his ‘Home Truths’ book.”