What housing policies will support First Time Buyers? Buy to Let Investors? Renters? Social tenants? Council Waiting Lists?

publication date: Apr 30, 2015
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

What housing policies will support First Time Buyers? Buy to Let Investors? Renters? Social tenants? Council Waiting Lists?

So you know who is saying and proposing what at this election on housing, I’ve done a comprehensive assessment of all the housing policies proposed at this election and what they mean to you – if you are a Buy to Let investor, a First time buyer, Renting as a tenant and in or wanting to enter social housing.

Sadly, there is nothing for anyone wanting to build their own home (bar Custom Build which is already in place); no help for anyone renovating, such as 5% VAT to stop cowboy builders and tradesmen; nothing to support long term institutional investment, much needed for tenants, in the Private Rented Sector (PRS); nor much to encourage the excellence in the PRS and in fact most policies will cause a lot of damage.

Download my analysis of all the housing policies for the 2015 General Election

But there are some policies which will work and some which will cause horrendous damage and all bar two parties guarantee to continue the housing crisis in unaffordable areas across the UK:-

Summary of political party housing policies for the 2015 General Election

Conservatives housing policies
Conservatives are refusing to commit to build enough homes to house our growing population and instead are looking at six figure discounts to move social homes to ownership of which a third are likely to end up in the PRS. They do support the PRS however, although are refusing to regulate the market or even just require agents to protect tenant/landlord money with Client Money Protection insurance.

Labour’s housing policies
Labour have set build targets and support small to medium developers. Unfortunately they guarantee we won’t build enough homes to house the nation, thus will continue the housing crisis. They are blaming and looking to financially penalise good landlords and letting agents for problems in the rental sector they helped cause (along with other parties) by refusing to regulate the sector and through a lack of enforcement of rules and regulations which rogues and criminals take advantage of.

Liberal Democrats housing policies
The Lib Dems are offering to build the most homes: 300,000, many as Garden Cities which are great policies, but are looking to increase Capital Gains Tax to 35% (or more) and reducing the CGT allowance, this will affect second homes and severely damage BTL returns.

The Greens housing policies
The Greens are looking to build exactly what the 2 million people need who are Council Waiting Lists – 500,000 social homes, but are looking to take away the tax deductible status of mortgage interest relief, which could tip many BTL investments into cash flow negative territory.

UKIP housing policies
UKIP are saying our housing crisis is being caused by, yes you guessed it, immigration, so bring that down and demand/supply will match better. They also want to build 200,000 for UK people on brownfield sites.

It is good news though that all parties are supporting policies to help get First Time Buyers on the ladder, and, even though (bar Lib Dems) they aren’t being anywhere ambitious enough on house building, they all now recognise the huge contribution it gives to local economies. Unfortunately there is little support for those in need of social housing (bar Greens) and the PRS policies are likely to hurt tenants the most as they don’t support what they really need – regulation of PRS and institutional investment.

So you know who is saying what, I’ve done what is (I hope!) a pretty comprehensive break down of all the policies that could affect housing.

Download my analysis of all the housing policies for the 2015 General Election

In my view, not one party is proposing policies which will solve our housing crisis.

FTBs will be looked after, but Buy to Let is under threat as an investment and those who need social homes and Housing Benefit support in the PRS only really have the Greens on their side.

We have a few days left for politicians to listen to the industry requests for increased supply of housing and the call for regulating the Private Rented Sector, lets see if any of them respond positively!

This campaign is to get involved in supporting building new homes: Homes for Britain.

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