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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Thought Provoking Book
Excellent timing for publication give the cynical pre-election boost being given by current government schemes to the housing market. Whilst not normally of the same political leanings as the author I found the first few chapters mirrored my practical experience of working in the housing market for most of my career. It is surprising how many things have different...
Published 2 months ago by K. Jagger

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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly written
I *have* read this book and I found it rather disappointing, especially following its glowing reviews in the press. The problem isn't with the content. I am sympathetic to Dorling's political position and don't disagree with anything he says here. There is a welter of potentially useful facts and figures, but they come at you out of nowhere. The problem I had with this...
Published 3 months ago by Sarah288


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Thought Provoking Book, 12 May 2014
By 
K. Jagger (UK) - See all my reviews
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Excellent timing for publication give the cynical pre-election boost being given by current government schemes to the housing market. Whilst not normally of the same political leanings as the author I found the first few chapters mirrored my practical experience of working in the housing market for most of my career. It is surprising how many things have different consequences from those stated by the politicians of all persuasions at the time. Definitely worth a read but draw your own conclusions don't just accept everything the author says. Probably best read in small chunks with each one considered carefully before moving on. I haven' yet got to the end but am enjoying the journey.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly written, 26 Mar 2014
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I *have* read this book and I found it rather disappointing, especially following its glowing reviews in the press. The problem isn't with the content. I am sympathetic to Dorling's political position and don't disagree with anything he says here. There is a welter of potentially useful facts and figures, but they come at you out of nowhere. The problem I had with this book is its style. For an academic author it's very conversational, but this actually makes it harder, not easier to follow the arguments and assimilate the important information it undeniably contains. Rather than being structured in a linear fashion, progressively building an argument, it's sometimes scattergun and very often repetitive, looping back and overlapping itself. It's so repetitive in fact that it could probably have been half the length and not lost anything. Dorling clearly cares passionately about his topic, but it's the passionate who need the best editing - this feels less like a persuasive argument and more like being bombarded with facts and figures and righteous indignation by someone who's cornered you at a party and occasionally gets so worked up that they lose the thread of what they're trying to convey. So, a worthwhile book, yes; but not a great read, and perhaps a missed opportunity to get an important message across.
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Apologies; I've not read the book, but the only other reviewer is a troll, 28 Feb 2014
This review is from: All That Is Solid: How the Great Housing Disaster Defines Our Times, and What We Can Do About It (Kindle Edition)
Apologies in advance; as I say, I've not read the book, but feel that it's unfair to allow it to have a 2-star rating based on one idiot trying to be clever (and failing).

Looks quite interesting, and I'm a bit of a leftie, so I ought to enjoy it. I'll remove this review when I see more honest reviews for the book, or the idiotic review giving 2 stars is removed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars gives a good background to housing, 30 Jun 2014
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an interesting read, gives a good background to housing issues
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for anyone with a social conscience, 18 Mar 2014
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This review is from: All That Is Solid: How the Great Housing Disaster Defines Our Times, and What We Can Do About It (Kindle Edition)
This book tells it like it is and doesn't beat about the bush re greedy landlords and those who keep several houses empty all year. It also dispels the myth that we have a housing shortage!!! Lots of food for thought about how to make society a fairer place.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I believe this to be an accurate summary of the housing situation in the UK., 8 Mar 2014
This review is from: All That Is Solid: How the Great Housing Disaster Defines Our Times, and What We Can Do About It (Kindle Edition)
I can at least go one further than the previous reviewer. I have just finished reading the free sample on Kindle,and am now compelled to buy the book.
I have long suspected that the housing market seems to be the principal driving force of the UK economy, and the author seems to confirm this and gives what appears to me to be a thus far concise and academic explanation of the forces leading to what I believe will result in a financial catastrophe.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Lots of words for the argument - not easy to follow and not clear how far housing market ..., 22 July 2014
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Lots of words for the argument - not easy to follow and not clear how far housing market a source or cause of inequality.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too polemical, 29 April 2014
By 
Joan Grant (London) - See all my reviews
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I found this an interesting book. I am frankly, somewhat amazed that an academic can be quite as polemical as Prof Dorling is in this book. The book does contain useful info on housing - no surprise there. It is however, very partisan. it is arranged thematically rather than chronologically. It is repetitive. And it is, in my opinion a bit patronising about low income people who rent.

His basic argument is that there is not in fact an overall shortage of housing. What we have is a situation where some people have a lot of housing (owning large houses and/or more than one property) and some people with not enough. I am not sure there is any real connection between the two, though I do accept that the rich have got a lot richer in the last decade or so.

He does go on at some length about the unfairness of the Bedroom Tax.

We do clearly have a problem with housing in the UK. Home ownership is clearly over-priviledged. His best idea is for reform of the council tax bands as it is clearly madness that someone living in a house valued at 320,00 pays the same as someone living in a house valued at 1million or above.

He seems to think another housing crash will eventually come but cannot say when that might be.

it is also true that this book would not win any awards for elegent use of English.
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15 of 107 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Crisis - what crisis?, 22 Feb 2014
Mr Dorling claims that there is a housing crisis that can be resolved by
a) Introducing rent control and thereby reducing the housing benefits bill
b) Building more social housing – council housing to you and me

There is no housing crisis. The bedroom tax is working – houses for hard working families are freed up as greedy tenants move out to more suitable bedsit accommodation. Personally I create more space by subdividing my flats by getting some of my Eastern European tenants to put a few more stud walls up in return for a few tins of Tsykie

Like his mates Peter Sissons and Owen Jones, Dorling is nothing more than an old fashioned red who fails to appreciate the risk taking by wealth creators such as myself. I began in the seventies offering student digs. Students are easy to intimidate and thanks to Grocer Heath, they have always been exempt from rent control and security of tenure. But the eighties were the best.

Here is a lesson on housing Mr Dorling. Flush from my gains from multiple applications for gas shares, it was time for yours truly to move into property big time. The 1986 Budget had two surprises as it abolished tax relief on building repairs and improvements and also abolished multiple tax relief on mortgages for unmarried purchasers. Nobody even knew that these existed but the Chancellor obliged with the tax relief being offered on works and purchases starting before November 1986 . So yours truly went and bought hundreds of properties (using names of my grandkids) in North London, Moseley, Sefton Park, Whalley Range and so on and got builders to sign of dodgy receipts for repairs. Quids in -all thanks to Nigella’s dad.

Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, in 1988 Norman Fowler went and abolished rent control on all new lettings. I still see Norman in the VIP bar of Seaview Sailing Club on the Isle of Wight . Nice bloke but not as senior as me down the Lodge.

So the housing disaster?. As I've said, a bit of stud wall sorts out the supply side. But we need to address demand –the birth rate and life expectancy are going up faster than new houses. So here is the answer. In the 80’s Maggie encouraged punters to leave their state earnings related pension scheme with a little incentive given out invest in a private scheme private. (I made a right killing there selling dodgy pensions) So I propose that we offer the British public ten grand to opt out of the NHS and take out private health insurance. (Obviously we’d still provide terminations and euthanasia on the NHS).Members of the overclass such as myself have already gone private. We can just trouser the cash or spend it on a few refreshments for a couple of Chipping Norton parties. As for the underclass .... work it out for yourself.
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