The Right to Buy scheme may well create a level playing field for social tenants, but it still does little to address the UK’s housing crisis: simply put, there are not enough homes to meet demand (29.05.15).
The government’s discount for first-time buyers is a policy that will fuel demand rather than deal with the supply issues in the housing industry. I do, however, believe the brownfield regeneration fund will be a worthwhile initiative; it will improve the housing supply and bring forward construction projects.
If it is to resolve this issue, the government needs to listen to the property and construction sector and target the key sticking areas: planning processes, development finance, construction skills and so on - we hope to see more in the post-election Budget.
Construction has a huge multiplier effect on the economy and boosting the industry can only be good news for employment figures. Encouraging more development will boost employment in the construction sector, slow the growth in rent and house prices and ultimately benefit the tax payer. Without an increase in housing supply, we run the risk of increasing housing poverty, where individuals spend too high a proportion of their income on mortgages or rent, and our housing benefit bill (for people in work) will remain in the billions.
Stacy Eden, head of property & construction, Crowe Clark Whitehill