PricedOut's reaction to the Autumn Statement

Duncan Stott, director of PricedOut - the campaign for affordable house prices, commented:

"We welcome George Osborne's continued tax clampdown on buy-to-let landlords - it is good to see action against investors who price out aspiring first-time buyers.

"However the fundamental challenge facing first-time buyers is the gap between house prices and wages, yet the Office for Budget Responsibility is forecasting that this gap will grow even wider over the next five years. The Conservatives have promised to double the number of first-time buyers, but Osborne will not achieve this with ever more elaborate schemes and initiatives.

"The Autumn Statement was a missed opportunity for the Chancellor to announce a target of an end to rising house prices and bring affordability back to the housing market. An official target of zero house price inflation would allow earnings to catch up to house prices and genuinely help aspiring first-time buyers fulfil their ambitions.

"Serious questions need to be asked about how many more urgently-needed homes will actually be built due to Osborne's new housing funds. Most of the 200,000 Starter Homes will come at the expense of homes for Affordable Rent, and developers may now choose to build using the Affordable Homes Programme instead of market housing.

"London Help To Buy looks like an extremely risky measure. The capital's housing market already looks heavily overheated, so providing 40% equity loans to London buyers will expose the taxpayer to substantial losses if the bubble bursts. Providing buyers with easier access to credit will cause even more money to pour into London housing, which can only push house prices up even higher.

"We still need to double the number of new homes being built, so the planning reforms announced today releasing more land for housing development are a welcome move."


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  • David Strange
    commented 2015-12-31 17:33:11 +0000
    I agree Paddy. equally the politically motivated Right to Buy should be stopped as well; there is no, and never has been any, justification for a publicly subsidised tenant to then be given the right to purchase a public asset at a discount. equally, recent moves to curtail inheitable tenancies and periodically asses financial capacity to move to the private sector (rent or buy) are appropriate as it frees subsidised property for the more needy.
  • Paddy Ballentine
    commented 2015-11-27 13:57:59 +0000
    The 40% interest free loan incentive seems like a recipe for total disaster. What is the loan term? What happens when the term ends? Will the borrower have to get a mortgage from a bank at the going rate, whatever than might? Or will the government be forced politically to renew the loan at the same rate? Since when did the government decide to start offering home loans? A lot more questions than answers. Like Help to Buy, this scheme should properly be called Help to Sell, aimed at inflating house prices, or at least not letting them deflate. Interesting to see house builders’ share prices rise on the announcement. It is really a case of kicking the can down the road, and leaving the inevitable mess to subsequent administrations. Interesting that the 40% loan is for 5 years, exactly the length of a parliament.