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Budget '14 Special: Seven housing measuresChancellor George Osborne has set out seven issues of relevance to the housing industry in his Budget delivered on Wednesday.

- No bubble risk: Osborne says that at the current rate of price growth it will be 2018 before average UK house prices reach their pre-downturn peak, suggesting he believes there is little risk of a current or future bubble. In any case the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee will be vigilant in its monitoring of future price rises. The Office of Budget Responsibility, advising Osborne, forecasts price growth of 37.2 per cent in UK house prices between 2013-14 and 2018-19.

- Stamp Duty: The existing 15 per cent stamp duty currently applied to homes costing over £2m and purchased through off-shore companies or corporate envelopes' will from midnight tonight apply to a wider group of properties - all those priced above £500,000. Osborne says this is part of a wider government attack on tax avoidance.

- Right To Build: £150m of funding for the existing Community Right To Build initiative, which encourages small community-led construction projects, including homes.

- House-building: A pledge to create an additional 200,000 new homes by 2020 (how this is to be achieved, or whether this is in addition to existing new house building levels, has not been specified), with some £500m promised to assist small and medium-sized house builders through a Development Investment Bank.

- Apprentices: Government will extend the grant for small businesses to support 100,000 more apprenticeships, some of which will be directly and indirectly in property industry.

- Help To Buy: Osborne has confirmed that Help To Buy Equity Loan (the first part of the HTB scheme - the part applying to purchasing new homes) will be extended until 2020.

- New Garden City: The Chancellor has also confirmed the creation of 15,000 new homes at a new Garden City at Ebbsfleet in Kent, as well as smaller infrastructure improvements elsewhere.

These measures have been set out against a context of what the Chancellor describes as an improving economy, which will create 1.5 million new jobs within five years and which will see a budget surplus - not deficit - by the end of 2018-19 financial year.

Comments

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    Well, he's missed the gate on getting the housing market going - yet again!

    According to the LSL Property Services/Acadata House Price Index, average UK house prices rose by 2,500 in February. An annual increase of 6 per cent compared to the same month a year earlier. Also, the average UK house price was 257,951, a 'monthly' change of 1.0 per cent.
    Why

    The market is malfunctioning by enabling only rich people from other areas to buy, in the more rural but sought-after destinations of the UK and the government is doing nothing to resolve this. Indeed the significant problem of the rich dispossessing average earners from owning their own homes is set to get worse whilst the present government is in power and is expected to continue if it gets re-elected!

    Instead of putting up with this 'mayhem', I'm suggesting that it should be the local level of wealth which should determine how much houses in-that-area ought to cost, not the level of remote wealth. Logically, idiots with more money that sense should come second

    IF the housing market worked properly, this could be achieved. The way to make this happen would be to change the way houses are introduced, to buyers.
    Appointed agents should be expected to negotiate at both ends of the house move, to help bring prices into line, and not only act for sellers.

    Just getting the max. price on each sale, is only looking at half of the deal because the 'buy' prices (for buyers) are being left out of the equation completely. This is obviously wrong. The result is a 'chaotic' housing market, where only sellers are being served by agents.

    I'm saying this is discrimination, of the highest order: - in modern society's terms. The research and the remedy is well documented by us and full explanations of how to remedy this have been available for over a year on our property-match blog.

    When is the government of the day going to intervene and rectify this discrimination When is our government going to see the merit in having a fairer, more accessible, more predictable housing market The benefits of this would be far-reaching for the whole country and for the whole economy.

    Clearly, the recent budget has, yet again, has taken no notice of this continuing dilemma.

    • 20 March 2014 09:23 AM
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