Details have come out of what Theresa May thinks about the current housing market, as she approaches taking over as Prime Minister later today.
In a speech earlier this week - largely unreported because of unfolding political events which have resulted in her unexpectedly-rapid ascent to power - she criticised the effects of high house prices.
The speech in question was wide-ranging, so dealt with no subject in great depth. However, on housing she said:
“Unless we deal with the housing deficit, we will see house prices keep on rising. Young people will find it even harder to afford their own home. The divide between those who inherit wealth and those who don’t will become more pronounced. And more and more of the country’s money will go into expensive housing instead of more productive investments that generate more economic growth.”
In what was perhaps a less focussed element of her speech, she said:
“As we take infrastructure decisions – like with new housing, roads, or exploration for oil and gas – the benefits should be shared not just with local authorities but with local people themselves.”
One of May’s leading proponents during the Tory leadership tussle has been housing minister Brandon Lewis, who has told elements of the property industry press that the new premier’s views on housing will be similar to those of her predecessor, David Cameron.
Lewis has told Inside Housing, a publication for the social housing sector, that he was confident the new leader would “stay true to the manifesto we launched last year, which had two key housing policies - Starter Homes and extending the Right To Buy to 1.3m [housing association] people. There’s no reason that would change.”
Twice since the referendum - and very possibly with the prior agreement of Theresa May - Lewis has confirmed his commitment to construct 200,000 starter homes before the end of the parliament in 2020.