Estate agents have slammed Boris Johnson following his housing policy speech setting out his post-partygate proposals.
This includes Propertymark’s policy officer Eleanor Bateman, who has said that sales and lettings agents simply do not have enough homes to meet demand from buyers or renters, suggesting that the Prime Minister’s speech was – as is often the case – thin on detail on “how his government intends to ensure the planning system is geared up to boost new supply,” she says.
“The Prime Minister talked about unlocking small publicly-owned development sites, converting agricultural buildings and supporting self-build schemes – but these are simply not going to deliver the number of houses we need on the ground to cope with demand.
“Making it easier for people to save for a deposit or to get a mortgage as part of his levelling up agenda will have little value if there are not the houses available for them to buy.
“But it’s not just about ramping up building. We think more could be done to maintain the turnover of existing homes, such as incentivising right-sizing through targeted Stamp Duty exemptions, something that could be further facilitated through policies that deliver more suitable homes for older and disabled people.”
The trade association’s Chief Executive Nathan Emerson has also pitched in, saying that although he welcomes the ‘mortgage review’ announced by Johnson to help first time buyers, “the UK Government should consider what it can do to encourage sustainable routes to homeownership, such as extending the Help to Buy Equity Loan to the second-hand market and re-opening the Help to Buy ISA.
“Fundamentally, the UK Government must increase the supply of housing and incentivise movement in the housing market so that alongside access to finance, prospective purchasers have something to buy.”