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Housing Secretary: UK property supply and standards are broken

The property market is broken, Housing Secretary Michael Gove acknowledged yesterday.

Despite the Conservative Party being in power since 2010, Gove insisted the Tories are still best placed to fix it.

Writing the foreword to a new report from think tank Bright Blue and Shelter, Gove admitted recent Government attempts to boost housing supply and property ownership were piecemeal.


But he claims that measures such as the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill will help address supply issues.

He said: “That the current housing model – from supply to standards and the mortgage market – is broken, we can all agree.

“That change is necessary and undeniable. We are bringing about change and we are determined to see it through.”

The report, which features a collection of essays from 16 contributors including other MPs,  made recommendations such as offering Stamp Duty reductions for people downsizing out of under-occupied family homes and encouraging the Government to release unused brownfield sites directly to be used by local authorities.

It also suggests committing to an additional 90,000 social homes a year and decentralising planning power to those locally elected to give them the final say to refocus the planning system on increased development rather than planning gain.

While not backing any of these proposals as official Government policy, Gove added: “Every single person in this country, no matter where they are from, what they do or how much money they earn, deserves to live in a home that is decent, safe, secure and affordable. 

“Along with the campaigners and political colleagues who have contributed to this thoughtful collection of essays, I am more committed than ever to building a modern, radical and successful conservative housing policy that works for everyone, whether they rent or own.”

Ryan Shorthouse, chief executive of Bright Blue, said: “A Conservative Government, now in power for 13 years, needs to make genuinely affordable and appropriate housing – of all different types of tenure – accessible to a much wider proportion of the population, especially younger generations and those on modest incomes.

“There is no silver bullet to fix the housing crisis. But, without bold and urgent steps, the housing situation in this country is only set to get worse, to the detriment of the national interest and the very survival of the centre-right. We need new, radical solutions now."

  • Mike Georgeson

    You couldn't make it up - Michael Gove acknowledging that his Party has broken the housing market, writing in a publication for Shelter, an organisation that provides shelter to not one person.

  • Andrew Stanton PROPTECH-PR A Consultancy for Proptech Founders

    Let's see, a certain chancellor went on a SDLT giveaway bonaza, leading to - super house inglation about 37%, followed by, hyper inflation in lending rates, ledaing to ... a stagnant market genuis.

    And every time they tinkered with property tax, the selling prices go up, so how does that help the FTB's who usually are 400,000 of the 1.2M completions a year. Savills recently predicted only 200,000 FTB's would buy this year, as Help to Buy has ended, the base rate has gone from 0.1% to 4.5%, no-one can afford to move.

    With inflation at 10% plus despite what the new Chancellor predicts until 2025 and the start of the end of the Russian war, there is nothing but pain in the housing sector.

    With recent hikes in oil prices, we are going in to an even darker period of COLC. I like most folk are seeing utility bills through the roof ... which is a bit ironic if we are thinking about housing.

    Also typically 178,000 newbuilds are being constructed a year, this year it may be as little as 144,000 a long way from the 300,000 target, Gove is a great orator, as a leveller up ... not so much.

    In 2025 it is likely a different party will be in to bat, my guess they will be equally clueless as to how to handle the 'housing crisis' which is not a housing crisis at all. 1.4M are in acute need of housing, but there are 18M empty bedrooms in the UK today, maybe a piece of software could sift those needing better housing into some of the bedrooms that are very empty.

    Building more homes is for the birds, redistributing and incentivising those who have empty nests, or obligarchs with private empty London portfolios might be a start.

  • icon

    The UK is over populated
    If a person works they get no help
    If a person rocks up on a dinghy they geta free house
    How is that fair to people who work

  • icon

    Its a lack of commitment from Gove and his party to set a target and stick to it. They seem incapable of being consistent and actually delivering what they say. What ever happened to the 300,000 houses per year target? That's been scrapped. Local councils have now put the brakes on. Labour suppliers to the major house builders are running out of work for their gangs and I see the end of the £200 per day brickie coming up fast.

  • icon

    I love Janet. Stamp duty needs reforming to a sensible level, not having holidays which causes housing booms.
    Giving 5% - 10% plus to the Gov't on a house move on top of all the other ludicrous taxes we pay, leads to recession. There are so many spin offs for the economy with increased housing transactions.
    High taxes disincentivise everything.


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