Stop property boom and bust, urges housing task force

Stop property boom and bust, urges housing task force

16:23 PM, 18th May 2011, About 13 years ago

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More affordable homes need building and the government must get to grips with tough tax reforms to burst the property bubble, urges a new report.

Despite four successive boom-to-bust cycles that lead to financial problems, arrears and repossessions, policy makers have failed to deal with the issues that destabilise the UK property market, claims charity financial think tank the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF).

The charity put together a housing market task force to review the UK housing market and to make recommendations on improvements.

The task force is chaired by JRF chief executive Julia Unwin and includes Kate Barker – author of the recent government Barker Review of Housing Supply.

Three key recommendations

Key recommendations of the task force include:

  • Building more homes so that supply keeps up with demand and takes the heat out of house price inflation.
  • Link Stamp Duty and Council Tax to property values
  • Provide a better safety net for homeowners in financial trouble

“Since the 1970s, there have been four boom and bust cycles in the housing market. This persistent instability distorts housing choices, inhibits house-building, and drives arrears and possession rates, putting people at great risk, and creates wealth inequality between the generations,” said Julia Unwin.

Controversial partnership

“We have set out to provide a series of policy options that together would help provide long-term stability in the market. I urge policy-makers to look at these and act now, because the seeds of the next housing boom have already been sown.”

One of the more controversial recommendations is setting up an insurance partnership with contributions from homeowners, mortgage lenders and the government to pay mortgage repayments if a borrower faces personal financial hardship.

The report is aimed at creating a more stable housing market to protect the finances of homeowners and to help more renters to buy a home.

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