Ed Milliband Promises To Start Building More Homes
The Labour Party has now increased the number of new homes that it wants to build by 2020. This is an increase on the figure of building 200,000 new homes each year by 2020 that was announced earlier this year. The news comes with further announcements such as the promise to remove stamp duty for first time buyers buying homes up to £300,000. According to experts this policy would affect nine out of ten first time buyers. Ed Milliband has seen a boost in some polls with his offers to first time buyers, much more so that with offers to build large numbers of new homes.
More help offered to first time buyers
His specific offers to help first time buyers goes down very well with first time buyers. The promise to withdraw stamp duty and introduce rent controls for the vast numbers of private UK tenants have also proved popular amongst voters. Just over 2.85 million people now live in rented accommodation across Britain and this number is increasing all of the time as the number of UK homeowners continues to drop. It is fair to say that housing is seen a key factor in this general election particularly in some of the marginal seats where the is a disproportionate number of people renting.
The Labour party is keen to capitalise on those voters which could be critical if Ed Milliband is to become Priminister. However the introduction of rent controls would almost certainly have a detrimental effect on the property market because landlords could feel targeted by Labour's unfair tax policies. This could possibly lead to a fall in the number of new homes being built by developers who sell many of their homes to buy to let investors.
Battle for votes in marginal seats with young familes
A recent survey carried out by Shelter found that these marginal seats had seen a marked decline in the numbers of homeowners. It is these seats that are seen as important battlegrounds for the two biggest parties. These areas are housing hotspots. There is a serious shortage on new homes being built and there is a serious shortage if homes to rent which has pushed up rents for local people. House prices in these hotspots have also increased to levels not seen before and this is also having a damaging effect on young families who are unable to stay in the area they were born in. In many cases young families are being forced out of their areas because of pricing.
Letting agents fees to tenants to be abolished under new rules
Ed Milliband has also offered to scrap the fees charged by letting agents. It is estimated that this would save on average £600 over 5 years. his party has also said that it would restrict rent increases linked to the rate of inflation and would also set up a landlords register which could curtail the bad practices of rogue landlords. It seems that landlords could get hammered by the Labour Party which could signal the start of a sell off in the UK housing market. This is something that the Labour Party would be keen to avoid as a declining housing market is not in the UK's economic interest. A decline in the UK's property market is usually followed by a recession which would derail Labour Party plans.
Labour Party "Local First" Policy to help local people to buy homes
An interesting policy to emerge is "Local First " which promises to give local people that have lived in an area for three years or more the option to buy newly built homes that are usually snapped up by foreign investors. These homes would have to be advertised locally for local people and not sold off plan by by developers in overseas property exhibitions to international buyers.
Local people are often not given the opportunity to buy these homes because these newly built homes are not made available to them. This will definitely be popular amongst many UK voters who see new blocks of flats being built and not even coming onto the market. Ed milliband has also said that he will increase taxes for international property investors living outside of the EU making it less attractive to invest in the UK housing market. As part of his housing policy he will also increase the council tax that is paid on empty homes.
Foreign investors outside of EU to be taxed more heavily
In order to increase the number of affordable homes built the Labour leader has said that he will change the obligations on developers to build more affordable homes on sites that they develop. Currently a developer that is developing a site with more than 14 units has to set aside 40% 0f the site for affordable homes. Across the south east many new sites that are constructed fall below the 14 units threshold because of this very reason. Sites are put together to ensure they don't have to include affordable homes and this could be one area that Ed milliband will change.