p155ing into the wind – Housing Strategy

p155ing into the wind – Housing Strategy

12:49 PM, 21st November 2011, About 12 years ago 4

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Today the government announced a new initiative to provide 100,000 new low cost homes over the next four years creating 200,000 new jobs. Well it’s better than nothing some will argue, but it hardly scratches the surface in terms of meeting requirements. To do this, a similar number of properties to a City the size of Birmingham are required by the year 2015.

In my recent blog entitled “Britians Looming Housing Crisis” I explained that unless the balance of available land, incentives to developers and availability of funding to first time buyers and the Private Rented Sector is achieved, homelessness, overcrowding and rogue landlord problems will intensify.

Time after time we see these political announcements which, I suppose, are meant to leave us feeling that our Government really do understand how critical housing is to our economy and yet the reality is they continually fall way short of the mark.

Where are the tax breaks to incentivise developers to build?

Why isn’t Government treating the Private Rented Sector as a business and providing the same tax breaks, e.g. CGT rollover, allowing rental losses to be used against other incomes etc.?

Why not make it possible to invest into the PRS with pension funds and stop the flow to overseas holiday developments?

Why haven’t we got 30 year fixed interest mortgages with no repayment charges the same as in the USA?

Without suitable incentives our developers will continue to mothball their building sites. What’s the point of building for no profit and the knowledge that people can’t raise the finance to buy what they have built?

Why will people risk buying property if they have no confidence in what their mortgage payment will be when interest rates increase?

This is my opinion though, what’s yours?


e: mark@property118.com

t: 01603 428500

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Ben Reeve-Lewis

13:58 PM, 21st November 2011, About 12 years ago

An on the money analysis Mark with an article title to match.
The CIH said earlier today that they feared the new strategy would just cement everything the government have already said on the matter.

There is nothing in there to incentivise developers holding strategic land banks to do anything more with them. And the section on supporting the PRS is laughable in the use of the word "Support".

What really P155es me off is the pathetic lip service they pay to housing being moved centre stage as a key component of economic recovery only to suggest nothing they havent been wittering on about ineffectually for the past year.

Of course with any new strategy there will be criticisms but I think this document should have begun with the word "As we've been saying". There are no new ideas in there at all, apart from maybe the 50% reduction on right to buy purchases but even that shoots itslef in the foot straight away. If there is a promise to build one new property for everyone sold (at 50% of true value) where is the money going to come from to build a new one?

Also, if it is true that there really are 700,000 properties sitting empty shouldnt a more key role been given to bringing them back into use than just a component?


11:40 AM, 22nd November 2011, About 12 years ago

There aren't 700,000 houses sitting empty: that figure is just the number of houses claiming council tax exemption. It includes empty houses up for sale or rent because the owner has already moved, houses empty because someone has died and the beneficiaries are seeking probate, houses that a landlord or developer is renovating, houses where the owner is abroad for six months on a contract and doesn't want the risk of damage or squatting by a tenant, and so on. A large proportion are also in northern cities where no-one wants to live, or are owned by companies and other organisations that have existing plans such as redevelopment.

The statistics are useless, too broad-brush. If they restricted them to houses that are long-term empty because of a lack of available capital to renovate or because the cost of renovation is higher than the likely sale or rental price, the numbers would be tiny. Those people who complain about "700,000 empty homes" need to ask themselves first: why are they empty? Once they start drilling down into the reasons, they'll quickly find there are surprisingly few houses that are capable of being brought back into supply; the rest is "churn" as part of the normal cycle of changing occupancy patterns.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

11:46 AM, 22nd November 2011, About 12 years ago

Spot on Tony!

22:57 PM, 2nd December 2011, About 12 years ago

Its good that they are affordable rent schemes rather than the scam shared equity/ownership schemes.

It should bring down rents and allow people to save deposits.

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