Property  

Majority of Brits back anti-gazumping laws

Majority of Brits back anti-gazumping laws

More than half of Brits support the introduction of new laws to prevent gazumping, according to research.

A study among 2,000 UK adults commissioned by Market Financial Solutions has uncovered the top policy reforms UK renters and homeowners would like to see introduced.

The research found 55 per cent of all Brits strongly support the introduction of new laws to prevent gazumping, the practice of snatching a house by making a higher offer than a previous buyer whose offer had already been accepted.

This figure rose to 64 per cent amongst those who own a residential property.

More than half of adults also believed caps should be introduced to restrict the type of properties that can be bought by non-UK residents.

Paresh Raja, chief executive for MFS, said: "Whether you’re a renter looking to make your first real estate purchase or a homeowner trying to move up the property chain, the UK property market is facing a number of important challenges.

"MFS’ research findings clearly demonstrate the public’s desire to have new laws introduced to prevent gazumping, and in turn, reduce the risk of a property chain collapsing.

"It’s also interesting to note that those people who own two or more residential properties are eager to see property inheritance tax removed on real estate assets."

He said the survey showed there was a myriad of issues facing the new housing minister Kit Malthouse, who was appointed earlier this month as the eighth housing minister in eight years.

The data found 49 per cent of UK adults would welcome the introduction of a house tribunal system with powers to review rent rises on individual properties.

This jumps to 58 per cent for those renting with no intention of buying a home over the coming 18 months.

It found 47 per cent of those who currently own more than one property were against a cap being put on the number of residential properties owned by one person.

Two-thirds of owners with more than one property also supported the abolition of inheritance tax on property assets – which ranked as the top policy reform in this group.

Mapping the number of renters and home owners that currently make up the property market, the research found 52 per cent owned one residential property in the UK – equivalent to 26.92 million people.

A mere 4 per cent of the UK population owned two or more residential properties, while 25 per cent of Brits lived in rented accommodation and had no intention of buying a property in the coming 18 months.

A further 7 per cent of Brits lived in a rental property and were planning to buy a home by 2020.

aamina.zafar@ft.com