Rightmove’s pre-election report sets out wish list for next government

The portal believes those four key areas - housebuilding, first-time buyer support, stamp duty reform and greater green incentives - are most in need to be addressed to help people move home.

 

News reporters on Westminster Bridge with RIghtmove logo

Accelerating housebuilding, first-time buyer support, stamp duty reform and greater green incentives are all on Rightmove’s wish list for the next government after the July 4 General Election.

The portal says those four key areas of the housing market are most in need to be addressed to help people move home.

OPPORTUNITIES
Johan Svanstrom, Rightmove
Johan Svanstrom, Chief Executive, Rightmove

Johan Svanstrom, Rightmove Chief Executive, says: “It’s clear to us that there are definite opportunities to improve fundamental aspects of the housing market. They include helping first-time buyers, building more homes and driving higher digitisation of processes.

“There’s also an increasingly critical need to support builders and people to make their homes greener. We’re keen to continue to help the industry and government with insights from the millions of people who use Rightmove.”

Undersupply of housing in the UK has helped push up both house prices and rents and if more new homes could be built, both for sale and rent, more people wanting to move to their next home or to get on to the property ladder could be helped.

PLANNING
Tim Bannister, Director of Property Science, Rightmove
Tim Bannister, Director of Property Science, Rightmove

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s property expert, adds: “If the government can create smoother [planning] processes, working closely with all key stakeholders, it could transform the delivery of new homes and produce more affordable housing.

“Not only could this help first-time buyers, it could also open up a big opportunity to help downsizers move to greener homes with lower running costs.”

Meanwhile, stretched affordability due to higher mortgage rates has made it harder for people trying to juggle paying rent, saving for a deposit and earning enough to pass affordability tests.

AFFORDABILITY
Head of Product (Mortgages), Rightmove
Matt Smith, Head of Product (Mortgages), Rightmove

Matt Smith, Rightmove’s Mortgage Expert, says: “There’s an opportunity to unlock greater affordability in a responsible way, which could help more first-time buyers get on the ladder.

“First-time buyers are already taking out longer mortgage terms and lender innovation has included the introduction of longer-term fixed rates that are likely to be part of the solution as they help by ensuring certainty of payments.”

He adds: “It’s most likely that regulatory change is needed, so it’s critical that the government works with regulators and lenders from day one on any mortgage solutions, to ensure buy-in and take up, which will in turn create more options for first-time buyers.”

STAMP DUTY

Stamp Duty costs could be preventing thousands of people from moving but Rightmove says a new system that took into account regional property prices, or helped encourage more people to downsize, could help movement in the market.

Bannister adds: “At the very least, the next government should make the current changes to first-time buyer stamp duty charges in England permanent, as the higher thresholds introduced in 2022 are due to expire next year.

“But there’s also a bigger opportunity to reform stamp duty to encourage more movement up and down the property ladder.”

GREEN INCENTIVES

Green incentives are also lacking at the moment with a marked a decline in the number of landlords planning to make energy-efficiency upgrades to properties with lower EPC ratings couple with a  lack of awareness among home-owners about what changes they should make and why

Christian Balshen, Head of Lettings, Rightmove
Christian Balshen, Head of Lettings, Rightmove

Christian Balshen, Rightmove’s lettings chief, says: “Landlords need clarity around any legislation that may come in, but also need help with incentives such as bigger, more widely accessible grants or tax savings, as these in turn will help tenants.”

David Cox, General Counsel, Rightmove
David Cox, General Counsel, Rightmove

And Rightmove’s legal expert, David Cox adds: “It’s vital that the next government works closely with the property industry to come up with standardised solutions to help speed up the home-moving process, to benefit both home-movers and agents.

“Digitisation is key, and there has been innovation in this space, but it also needs a solid focus from the next government.”


What's your opinion?

Back to top button