A leading property finder company has decided to publish its own property market manifesto which suggests several radical policies, including a bedroom tax for under-utilised private homes.
James Greenwood of Stacks Property Search, which has published the mini manifesto, says he is driven to do so prior to every General Election because he’s amazed at some ministers’ lack of knowledge about the market.
“I remember asking one of the housing ministers about the problem of self-certified mortgages and how difficult it was for freelancers to get home loans at the time, and he had no idea what I was talking about,” he says.
Consequently, Stacks has decided to offer the current crop of housing ministers its own ideas on the real issues in property.
These include several familiar tub-thumpers including reforming Stamp Duty to make it graduated not stepped, making Help to Buy available for resales properties once more, and scrapping capital gains tax for landlords who sell up to their tenants.
But the list also includes some more controversial items including a bedroom tax for private homes that are under-utilised, a vacant property tax and preventing foreign investors from buying homes without renting them out.
“Our belief is that the housing crisis is all about the misuse of capacity rather than a lack of capacity,” says Greenwood.
“We’re agents so we’d like to see more homes being bought and sold – everyone knows that transaction levels are down and that a lot of people are stuck in the wrong house.”
Read Greenwood’s views on Brexit.