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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

MP wants pensioner-investors to fund first time buyer homes

One of the candidates for the deputy leadership of the Labour Party says she wants pensioners to invest in bonds which would fund house building.

Stella Creasy - who in the past has been an outspoken critic of estate agents and letting agents for their fees and alleged lack of transparency - has told The Independent newspaper that action is needed because the average age of a first time buyer is now 37.

The newspaper says she urges the party to campaign for a bond dedicated to house building and home-ownership for first-time buyers, which pensioners would invest in and from which they would receive “a good return.”

Creasy, the MP for Walthamstow, gives no other details of her proposal, although it sounds similar in principle to one put forward by David Lammy, another London Labour MP - he is seeking the nomination as the party’s candidate for the mayoral election in the capital.

Lammy says he would sell homes at cost-price, using money from a £10 billion London housing bonds issue. He says he believes the homes could be sold for £150,000 having been built on public land and sold with conditions on the leasehold intended to stop high price rises. 

Buyers would eventually be able to sell for up to 10 per cent above cost price, but only if they had lived in the home for a substantial period. Lammy says those trying to sell after a shorter period would get “significantly lower than 10 per cent” appreciation. The leasehold would also prevent the home being sold to someone who already owned a property. 

  • Jon  Tarrey

    Seems like a good idea to me. She gets a lot of flak from those in the industry, but at least she's willing to come up with a few ideas to solve the housing crisis. Rather than the government, who are more content with burying their heads in the sand.

  • Karl Knipe

    Yes, it's an interesting idea. Whether it is workable or would receive enough backing from the stated demographic is a whole different kettle of fish.

    To be fair to them, Creasy and Lammy are trying to come up with ideas in the place that is being worst hit by the housing shortage: London. The average age of a first-time buyer is far too high - this is bad news for sellers, buyers and agents in equal measure. More needs to be done.

    We need to have a broad and open discussion about housing, where a wide range of different ideas and opinions are taken into consideration. For some reason, the government doesn't seem to be taking housing very seriously, despite mounting evidence that it's one of the major issues facing the country. As you say, Jon, we can't keep burying our heads in the sand.

  • Neil Briggs

    Agreed, Carl. An interesting idea but I'm a little less sure about how it would work in practice. Good to see an MP coming up with possible solutions, though. Brandon Lewis seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth since the GE.

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