Property News

Britain Needs Bolder Housing Solutions, says Telegraph

Em Morley - March 4, 2015

An article on The Telegraph online tells of their thoughts on the housing crisis, and how political parties are not working hard enough to solve it.

The Telegraph View piece says: “The Conservatives are right to prioritise housing, but they must go much further.”

They explain that in the past, increasing property prices were seen as completely positive. Now though, it is seen as pushing homeownership further away from the young.

“So David Cameron is right to identify the struggle of young people to buy a home as a major issue of concern at the general election and beyond,” the article reads. “His intention to increase the supply of affordable starter homes for first time buyers is likewise laudable.”

However, they go on to explain that Mr. Cameron’s “prescription is less convincing than his diagnosis.” The pledge to build 200,000 homes is praised, however Telegraph View believes there is “no certainty” that this will be carried through.

Britain Needs Bolder Housing Solutions, says Telegraph

Britain Needs Bolder Housing Solutions, says Telegraph

They explain that this scheme “rests on the hope that profit-making developers will sell homes well below their market value because they are exempted from some planning and building regulations.”

Offering their opinion, The Telegraph adds: “In truth, the only way any Government could guarantee such numbers would be to build the houses itself.”

Nevertheless, The Telegraph does say that the Conservative’s plans are “more convincing than Labour’s policy.” Of the opposition’s scheme, The Telegraph says that it “rests on an ominous threat to penalise developers deemed to be hoarding land.”

On all parties, the article says: “None of the political parties is offering to address the complex, deep-rooted causes of Britain’s property problems: a growing, ageing population whose members increasingly tend to live alone or in smaller households, rather than the extended families of old; the flow of international capital into Britain’s admirably open economy; and the concentration of power, money and people in south east England.

“The scale of the task in tackling Britain’s housing problems is great, but so are the rewards – social, economic and yes, political rewards.”

The article reveals that after two months of campaigning, “voters remain largely unmoved” in opinion polls. According to these statistics, “both the main parties are languishing well below the levels of support that would deliver a clear general election victory.”

The Telegraph gives their opinion on the main contenders: “While Ed Miliband’s Labour lacks the dynamism to escape this quagmire, the Conservatives can still do so with a more positive and detailed vision of the better Britain they would create with another term in office.”

Telegraph View then offers their advice for the Conservatives: “They should start on housing, promising to transfer millions of socially-owned homes to their tenants then tax any subsequent sale and use the proceeds to build more houses. Building the property-owning democracy that the Conservatives have rightly promised for almost a century requires radicalism, not tinkering.”1

With the general election just over two months away, housing is still an area of importance for most, if not all, voters.

1 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/telegraph-view/11445461/Britain-needs-boldness-not-tinkering.html