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Our most recent activity is listed below. All our news, blogposts and press coverage can be found through the links above.


Homeownership at lowest level in thirty years

Homeownership is on the decline in many UK cities. Why is this a problem, and how can we fix it?

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Will the EU referendum result fix housing?

Without a doubt, the EU referendum is one of the most significant events in recent political history. Although the decision was to leave or remain, many other issues formed part of the campaigns, including housing. But will the promise of Vote Leave be realised?

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IMF and House Prices

Commenting on the IMF's annual assessment of the UK economy, Duncan Stott, director of the affordable house price campaign PricedOut, said:

"Today's warning from the IMF demonstrates that the UK housing market is once again out of control. We now know that rising house prices pose a real danger to our economy, as well as pricing out ever more workers from a home of their own.

"The government must respond to the IMF's warning by developing a wholesale strategy that will bring an end to rising house prices. A target of zero house price inflation would both de-risk the economy and enable the Conservatives to meet their promise to double the number of first-time buyers."
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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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Osborne must act to freeze house prices to hit his first-time buyer target

·       The Conservatives have pledged to double the number of first-time buyers

·       House prices will need to stop rising for this target to be met, analysis shows

The government will fail on its election promise to double the number of first-time buyers if it doesn’t act to put a brake on house prices, PricedOut says today.

During the General Election, George Osborne pledged to double the number of first-buyers[i] from its current level of 300,000. But the higher house prices rise, the fewer people will be able to afford to buy their first home.

Zero house price inflation, combined with forecast wage growth of 19% between 2015 and 2019, would bring home ownership back within reach of 300,000 couples currently renting. PricedOut is therefore calling on the Chancellor to set a target of zero house price inflation in his Autumn Statement.

PricedOut has calculated that a household would require an income of £54,000 to afford the average first home of £216,000, but HMRC figures show that 72% of dual income households earn less than this - the equivalent of 3.89million private renters[ii].

But if house prices stopped rising[iii] and earnings grew at the rate forecasted by the Office for Budget Responsibility, 12% more households would be earning £54,000 or more, thus becoming ‘priced into’ home ownership.

While a target of zero house price inflation would in itself have a useful effect on market sentiment, these further reforms would be needed to bring house price inflation to a halt:

Building 300,000 homes a year focussed in the most unaffordable areas;

Clamping down on buy-to-let by completely withdrawing tax relief on buy-to-let mortgage interest;

Reforming property taxation by enabling councils to revalue and change the banding of council tax to reflect contemporary house prices and increasing capital gains tax to deter the use of housing as a speculative investment.

Restraining mortgage lending including an end to Help To Buy mortgage guarantees;

Duncan Stott, Director of PricedOut, said:

“The Conservatives like to say they are ‘the party of home ownership’, but the level of home ownership declined throughout their first five years in power. If George Osborne genuinely wants to meet the aspirations of first-time buyers, he must take immediate action to bring an end to the UK’s addiction to rising house prices.

“No-one seriously believes that a few little schemes and initiatives will fix the housing crisis. The only way that the Conservatives will fulfil their promise to double the number of first-time buyers is with a target of zero house price inflation. Major reforms to the way the housing market operates will be needed to meet this target.”

Ends

Notes to editors

PricedOut (www.pricedout.org.uk) represents the millions of people who would like to buy their own home but cannot buy because of high house prices and high rents. The campaign is independent of any political party and supports initiatives to increase the supply of good quality housing in the priciest areas of the UK.

PricedOut uses the HMRC’s percentile breakdown of UK taxpayer incomes, the English Housing Survey’s income profile of private renters and the Office for National Statistics’ latest House Price Index to estimate how many people can afford the average first home, based on the assumption that a home is affordable if it is no more than 4 times household income.  

Date

Average first-time buyer house price

Income percentile that cannot afford to buy

Joint income

Number of private tenants that cannot afford to buy

Total priced out

% priced out

May 2010

£155,000

49

£38,600

2,501,550

2.50m

54%

Sep 2015[iv]

£216,000

62

£53,102

3,886,835

3.89m

72%

2019[v]

£216,000

52

£45,012

3,265,020

3.27m

60%

 

The full methodology can be found in PricedOut’s original PricedOut Index report: http://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/pricedout/pages/44/attachments/original/1392820666/PricedOut_Index_report_190214.pdf?1392820666

Grant Shapps, the Conservatives’ original Housing Minister, called for “a period of house price stability” in October 2010. First-time buyer house prices have since increased by £63,000. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/grant-shapps-urges-house-price-stability-to-help-wannabe-homeowners



[i] The Conservative Party Manifesto 2015

[ii] Data availability is limited to private rented sector tenants who pay income tax

[iii] Nominal terms

[iv] Latest available data

[v] Figure if house prices were to freeze throughout 2015 to 2019

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