Can you compare new cars to new houses?
I have been a bit busy the last couple of weeks, but had some time today to knock this up.
I constantly hear on the radio that there is a housing crisis. They cost too much, there are not enough of them, they are in the wrong places, they damage the environment, they all look the same , and that same is ugly.
I hear the same about cars.
So I thought I would do a little bit of research to see what is actually happening. Now I can’t really comment on the ugliness of either cars or houses, to me they are just functional things on the outside. I would rather have a sea view from a wooden chalet than a Georgian town house in Bath, but that is just me. Others want different.
Now it is worth saying, at this point, that I think that most builders are wankers, Architects even worse. It never fails to amaze me that everything comes as a surprise to them. They turn up on site, then realise that they need some nails. So they send the lad to get some. Then they send him out again to get some wood, or tiles, or cement.
If we made cars like houses, life would be very stressful. Can you imagine how awful it would be if a man tuned up with an engine on a Monday, then another man turns up with some wheels and glass. Tuesdays sees the seats and suspension, then at knocking off time, the differential and bonnet turn up. They get piled on top of the rest of the stuff. On the Wednesday the body turns up, minus the doors. When you ask where they are, you are told that they are extra. So you order some, then find the glass that turned up on Monday, does not fit.
Then the delivery driver reverses into the pile of bit you already have, breaking most of them.
Eventually all the bits seem to be there, except the wiring loom, and building starts. Then it rains, so work stops. Then the lad calls in sick, so the boss, the one with the huge beer belly (I have never met a thin builder), grumbles as he has to do some actually work, rather than pop off to finish another job or do a quote. On Friday, if the paint sprayer is sober enough, he will paint your car the wrong colour. Eventually you get a car, but it has problems with the build quality. The ‘snagging’ team are sent in and they um and ah, tell you it is normal on a new car, and fuck off, for good.
That is what house building is like. Odd really as last year we built 162,840 new houses. Not a record, or enough, but a fair few. The industry should know what to do by now, we have been building for thousands of years.
As a comparison we bought 2,367,147 new cars. England manufactured about 2,100,000 last year. Most worked faultlessly and were delivered on time, in the right colour.
If we look at the cars sold and the houses built we can do some comparisons. Now it is quite tricky to compare the two directly, but as they are both boxes, comparing foot print, or the amount of land each one takes up, is a good start.
Those 162,840 houses took up about 11,073,120 square metres, the cars 18,051,958 square metres. So we covered more land with new cars that new houses. in 2018.
The price is an interesting one. The average price for a house was £3,353/square metre. The cars £2,321/square metre. Not surprising as you don’t buy any land when you buy a car, you just pay a ‘rent’ to use public roads.
These numbers are both going to be skewed, probably in different directions, because I used the top ten selling cars in the UK, and they tend to be the cheaper ones, and most new builds are in the South East of England, where prices are higher.
But it does show that they are a similar price, except we make a lot more of one, to a much higher quality, and loaded with technology, compared to the other. And they come with furniture in them, and air conditioning.
Houses really are rubbish, 1860’s technology in the Twenty First Century.
If you remember my post about solar energy, the area we cover in cars could produce enough electricity to move 423,000 cars 12,000 miles each year. The houses would do around 264,000 cars.
So if the Millennium Snowflakes are serious about owning a home, driving a car, and saving the planet, and I think they should be, they need to do something about this.
Go to engineering college, learn law and get on local councils. If you don’t do this, then us old ones will carry on owning the best houses, driving the best cars and robbing your savings.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.