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Will The Housing Crisis Win The Election?

Will The Housing Crisis Win The Election?

The Politics Of Housing

It is still generally acknowledged by all political parties that there is a housing shortage in the UK, and each political party wants to offer the public alternative methods of tackling the problem in an attempt to win electoral favour.

Most political parties see the housing crisis in the UK as a possible election winning issue and each party’s election manifesto promises the general public many things, including further private rented sector (PRS) reforms and the introduction of additional legislation. There isn’t much offered by any political party for landlords, except for the promise to put an end to the private rental sector.

A recent survey by Ipsos MORI research published in January 2015 discovered a confusing conundrum, in that:

  • 75% of the public agree that there is a housing crisis in the UK
  • 48% of the public disagree there is a housing crisis in their locality

The publication of each political party’s election manifesto is intended to give the public a clearer indication of the housing priorities of the UK’s next parliament.

However, despite claims of a housing shortage nationally there are still some UK regions that have large proportions of derelict and abandoned properties, many still in a habitable condition.

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Labour Manifesto Aims To Change PRS Forever

Labour Manifesto Aims To Change PRS Forever

Labour’s PRS Rent Control And Tenure Plans Under Attack

Labour’s manifesto confirms their plan to introduce 3 year tenancies and a ceiling on excessive rent rises in the UK’s private rental sector (PRS).

Previous Government’s have tried introducing rent controls and the result discouraged the building of new homes as well as reducing more financial investment in their rental property portfolios by landlords.

For years rent controls caused damage to the nation’s housing market, reducing the number of properties being built and recovery took almost a decade. The current rhetoric being touted around by politicians could have disastrous consequences for house builders and landlords alike.

The introduction of longer term tenancies is very much geared towards tenants but fails to address the problems already faced by landlords when tenants abscond without giving any notice, leaving the landlord out of pocket and looking for new tenants.

The UK’s private rental sector (PRS) has improved dramatically over recent year’s thanks in part to the introduction of tighter legislation, but there remains a delicate balance between regulation and altering the relationship between tenant and landlord. Intervention on rents and security of tenure has in the past damaged both market liquidity and good business values within the PRS.

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Funding For Lending Scheme Targeted

Funding For Lending Scheme Targeted

Some of the Con-Dem Government flagship schemes to get the UK housing market moving again such as Funding for Lending (FLS), NewBuy and FirstBuy have been targeted by a succession of property professionals at a buy-to-let event in Westminster, last week.

John Heron, managing director of specialist mortgage lender Paragon said: “Politicians are tinkering around at the edges and seeking headlines. They are being schizophrenic. On the one hand, they are doing everything they can to drive lenders away from high-risk lending, On the other hand, they are coming up with initiatives encouraging 95% mortgages on new-builds to first-time buyers.”

At the inaugural “Great Buy to Let Debate”, organised by the Wriglesworth consultancy, both he and other speakers called for a root and branch review of all government policies.

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