Fresh calls for property market intervention

An influential public sector body has issued a call for new measures to boost house building.
The Local Government Association (LGA) has urged the government to allow councils to resume their ‘historic role’ as housebuilders to supply desperately needed homes.
It wants the Government to let councils borrow money to invest in housing, keep all the money received from the sale of homes through the Right to Buy scheme and to use this and other funding to build through spin-off housing companies.
Historically, local authorities were key drivers of housebuilding with about 100,000 homes built annually until the late 1970s.
With the election of Margaret Thatcher and right to buy followed by the disposal of many council held stocks, housebuilding by local authority fell dramatically.
The LGA wants to see ‘bold new action’ to create a ‘renaissance’ in housebuilding by local councils.
Peter Box, LGA housing spokesman, said: “The private sector clearly has an important role to play but the reality is that it cannot build the homes we need on its own, and will likely be further restricted by uncertainties in the months and years ahead.”
The latest calls come after repeated Government intervention in the property market recently, including an additional Stamp Duty levy.
The LGA claims that at least four million people of working age in England will need affordable housing by 2024 and that first-time buyer numbers in England have fallen by a third in a decade.
Certainly, more housing is needed and a healthy property market is in everyone’s interests but it will be interesting to see what approach the Government takes with a new PM and Brexit on the horizon.
There’s more on the BBC website at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36904190 and on the LGA website at www.local.gov.uk/web/guest/media-releases/-/journal_content/56/10180/7910317/NEWS
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An influential public sector body has issued a call for new measures to boost house building. The Local Government Association…

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