General Election Ahead – Key Housing Policies Explained

With the general election less than one hundred days away, MP’s proposals to tackle the housing crisis in the UK will be a key area of debate. Part of their proposals will be what they plan to do to build more homes, which will of course mean more properties available on the market.

The main parties certainly have housing on their agenda for the upcoming election. Some are taking a target based approach and others are focussing on proposals to generate homes for differing sections of society.

The party proposing to build more homes than any other party is the Liberal Democrats, who are pledging to build 300,000 homes a year. They plan to create a Housing Investment Bank as well as creating new properties, not solely on brownfield sites, but create garden cities, towns and villages.

They also want to bring back empty homes schemes. There have been many similar proposals over the years, although they have rarely proven to be successful.

Perhaps the most intriguing plan from the Liberal Democrats is their idea to discontinue right to buy schemes. This would mean a substantial reduction in the number of discounted homes sold to the private sector.

On the other hand, the Conservatives are exploring a different route and will create housing policies for specific target markets. They, unlike other parties, are refusing to commit to a target number of the total amount of homes they will build.

As part of their plans they are aiming to introduce a new Starter Homes Initiative, which will look to build 100,000 new homes which will be sold at a discount to first time buyers under 40 years old.

Additionally the party are looking to introduce more rent to buy properties, which allows people to rent a property long term at a discount and then go on to purchase the property. If these plans were to come to light, half of the properties would be located in London.

The Labour party have plans to build 200,000 new homes per year, but there would be a wait involved – they are not looking to do so until the end of the next term.

Further plans to create new builds will see “new homes corporations” work with housing and private sector associations in order to increase the amount of homes built in local areas. Labour’s plans will have some greenfield development but mainly incorporate building on brownfield sites.

Finally, the Green party are seeking to have a mix of options available to meet the many differing needs within communities. This would include individual and shared ownership, leasehold and other options. Like the Conservatives, they have not specified how many homes they seek to build per year.

These proposals do highlight that MP’s will be placing a major focus on housing at the upcoming election, and we can expect this to be an area of much debate in the coming months.

If you are thinking of property investment, or would like advice on any aspect of purchasing a property in 2015 you can get in touch with our team at Cairn. We have extensive knowledge of the current market and will be able to answer any of your questions as well as give advice relevant to your circumstances.

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