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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Zoopla wants Tory/LibDem coalition to go on

Zoopla says a Labour victory would be “likely” to lead to falling house prices and rising interest rates and suggests “a continuation of the current coalition” would continue recovery in the housing market.

The portal, which last week announced it was taking over price comparison website uSwitch, says average house prices have risen 9.7 per cent across the country over the past five years under the current government largely due to what it describes as an improving economy, higher employment and policies designed to further encourage property ownership and investment.

“As a result, a continuation of the current coalition would likely result in the continued recovery in the housing market” says a statement from the portal’s communications chief, Lawrence Hall.

But it says Labour policies, by design or accident, will make UK property generally a less attractive investment. 

“It will appear less attractive to owners as a result of proposed new property taxes, less attractive to landlords and investors as a result of proposed new rent controls and less attractive to first-time buyers and lenders as a result of proposed changes to current government support schemes” says Hall. 

He says issues still to be resolved in the market include a possible tax on unoccupied residences, an update to council tax bands and clamping down on rogue landlords, as well as the most important way to solve the UK’s housing problems - to build more homes. 

Hall is particularly critical of the mansion tax which he says is “a good political soundbite but a poor policy” which is a “tax on working British families.”

He is also critical of Labour’s rent control policies.

  • Rob  Davies

    Yeah, because the Tory party have done a wonderful job of solving the housing crisis in the last five years. It's not like they've presided over the lowest level of housebuilding in decades, it's not like prices have gone up to ridiculous levels well out of the reach of most ordinary buyers, it's not like Help to Buy has been a bit of a gimmicky disaster, it's not like more and more people have been pushed into the PRS, it's not like Generation Rent has become a serious issue, it's not like first-time buyers are finding it nigh-on impossible to cobble together a deposit and get a mortgage approved to finally get their foot on the ladder. Yeah, the Tories have done a good job of making London a haven for the super-rich, but that's about it.

    Not saying Labour's plans are perfect - although, as commenters on here will know, I'm very pro the mansion tax (I won't bore you all again!) - but to say the Tories have been any good on housing is a load of rubbish. They've done nothing to improve the issue of social housing and they've done nothing to tackle the biggest problem this country faces when it comes to property - we haven't got enough of it! Build more.

    And he talks about clamping down on rogue landlords - surely that's what Labour's policies on rent controls and three year secure tenancies is hoping to achieve?

  • Kelly Evans

    Totally agree, with Zoopla not Rob. Labour would scare off foreign investors and landlords, and would cause untold damage to the PRS. The housing market is relatively stable again, why risk wreaking havoc by changing the status quo?

  • icon

    Very outspoken - but all a little too little too late isn't it? ARLA has been reasonably critical of Labour's stance but I can't remember the NAEA saying much - other than endorsing the scrapping of stamp duty for FTBs... The election is tomorrow, I think a lot of 'industry commentators' seem to have forgotten about that. This has been looming for weeks anything said now will be largely ineffective.

  • Algarve  Investor

    @John Bamonte - I agree, what is the point of them saying this now? It's neither here nor there. People, in most cases, would have already made their minds up, and Zoopla is very unlikely to change that.

    Sound like self-interested scaremongering, to be honest. I take on board some of their points and agree that Labour doesn't have all the answers, but it would take a massive leap of faith to suggest that the Tories' record on housing holds up to even the tiniest bit of scrutiny. It really, definitely doesn't.

    Whoever gets in, it's quite simple. Increase supply!

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