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Tag: First-time buyers

What can you do when a radical and unashamedly ambitious housing strategy isn’t enough?

What can you do when a radical and unashamedly ambitious housing strategy isn’t enough?

Listening to the Budget speech is often theatre, with oohs and ahhs. Reading the documents is more often a prosaic task punctuated with eh? and what? This Budget provided no exception. Even though it failed to light fires for the construction industry, it did provide interest. George Osborne’s Help to Buy scheme captured the imagination as he spoke. Sadly, unpicking the detail, such as it is, there is plenty of scope for both questions and concern. The Chancellor was not…

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The real home truth is that the Government can and should do more to boost house building

The real home truth is that the Government can and should do more to boost house building

The National Housing Federation launched its 2012 Home Truths report today. It’s got lots of coverage, probably because it says again what many already know – there’s a housing crisis and it will put even more pressure on the already stressed and strained housing benefit system. We spend more than £20 billion a year on housing benefit in a bid to keep the poorest out of housing squalor. But thousands more working folk are turning to this benefit as rents…

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Beware estate agents selling optimism – the housing market remains in a worrisome state

Beware estate agents selling optimism – the housing market remains in a worrisome state

There was a very upbeat headline given by the RICS press office to the latest housing market survey released today by the surveyors’ body. Judging by various headlines from news outlets, including that on the BBC website, and various tweets I noticed on the subject, the message received by the casual observer appears to be “well that’s all good then”. I was bemused. I can see that less bad may be construed as good in a world of torture. But looking…

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Finally the plight of first-time house movers hits the national headlines

Finally the plight of first-time house movers hits the national headlines

Hallelujah! The plight of trapped first-time house movers has finally got into the national headlines. Recent research undertaken by Lloyds Banking Group exposes the problem of increasing numbers of financially-constrained first-time homeowners trapped and unable to make the second step up the ladder.

The Housing Strategy: Was that it?

The Housing Strategy: Was that it?

There’s little doubt that we need radical solutions to build more homes. There is a broad consensus for that view, leaving aside supporters of Malthus, the Daily Telegraph anti-house-building campaign and a few others. There’s little doubt also that the issues are complex and we need a strategy rather than one big idea to save the day. But unless I am very much mistaken the 88-page Laying the Foundations: A Housing Strategy for England probably doesn’t amount to a strategy…

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The first-time buyer trap

The first-time buyer trap

The 360,000 first-time buyers who bought in 2007 are likely to be trapped in their first homes, says a press release dated yesterday from the bank HSBC. The research isn’t brilliant. What makes this story so unusual and, for me, interesting is that despite it being such an obvious and serious problem so little has been written about it. So what’s the story?

Why young folk can’t buy homes

Why young folk can’t buy homes

My patience runs thin when listening to the reasons why young folk can’t buy homes. And today I’ve had to listen to and read various interpretations of why they can’t, prompted by the release of the interesting Halifax sponsored research “The Reality of Generation Rent: Perceptions of the first time buyer market”. Call me unnecessarily reductive, but there is one simple over-riding reason why young folk struggle to buy a home, so simple it seems to be the most often…

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Are we condemned to low levels of house building?

Are we condemned to low levels of house building?

Research released this week by the think tank ippr painted a gloomy picture of house shortages in England growing disturbingly in the years to 2025, by which time it reckons we could have demand outstripping supply by 750,000 homes. It’s a stab at trying to predict what might happen and there will always be problems with research of this kind. It is, for instance, not inconceivable that if Britain’s economy becomes less attractive we may see a significant rise in…

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Are we on the edge of a second house price crash?

Are we on the edge of a second house price crash?

The big question after today’s release of the Halifax house price index is whether the market is heading for a protracted decline or whether prices will stabilise and hold or continue to creep up from the trough of a year or so ago. It must be said that today’s figures, which show the third in a straight set of monthly declines, fit the pattern expected given the recent movement in what might be regarded as leading indicators for house prices….

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Stamp duty – a tax rise that looks set to win votes

Stamp duty – a tax rise that looks set to win votes

There is obvious glee within the housing market about the prospects of a two-year period free of stamp duty for those first-time buyers who purchase properties worth less than £250,000. The £250,000 threshold captures practically all of them, with significantly less than 10% of exceptions that will be mainly resident in London and the South East. And the cost of this “Budget giveaway” the Treasury puts at under £300 million annually at worst. This figure is of course a hypothetical resting on the…

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