Phil Spencer: ‘Chancellor’s housing plans simply don’t go far enough’

Added on March 14th, 2019 in Property News

The chancellor Philip Hammond has once again failed to deliver for private landlords, with yesterday’s rather low-key Spring Statement yet another missed opportunity to prop up the housing market and boost the supply of much needed private rented properties by supporting buy-to-let investors.

Despite the slowdown in the buy-to-let market, with activity levels continuing to drop, Hammond opted not to reverse the additional 3% stamp duty surcharge on second homes, including buy-to-let properties, nor reinstate the mortgage interest tax relief for buy-to-let landlords in the Spring Statement yesterday.

The concern is that this could lead to a further reduction in the number of small and individual buy-to-let landlords investing in the private rented sector, which could mean more landlords opting to come out of the PRS, creating reduced supply or increased costs which could again mean a hike in rents.

Despite the prospect of a rise in rents, the chancellor focussed on boosting homeownership figures, with the announcement of a new £3bn Affordable Homes Guarantee Scheme.

He also announced funding of £717m from the Housing Infrastructure Fund to unlock 37,000 new homes across England.

But while this may be a step in the right direction, the government’s plans simply do not go far enough, according to Phil Spencer, the presenter of Location, Location, Location and co-founder of Move iQ.

He said: “Any boon to Britain’s chronic housing shortage is, of course, not to be sniffed at – but the chancellor’s plans simply do not go far enough.

“Britain needs a long-term, apolitical and impartial plan to build the homes we so desperately need and not short-term soundbites to keep prospective voters happy.

“Sorting out Britain’s housing crisis will not be a quick-fix; and certainly won’t be accomplished over any one government’s time in power.

“It’s time that housing experts were brought into the process of developing a strategic housebuilding plan – one that can’t be with tinkered with for the purpose of gaining votes every time a general election is on the horizon.”

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