James Coney  

We may have to wait until autumn to see the real Rishi Sunak

James Coney

James Coney

This latter tax is ripe for the most fundamental of overhauls as it now seems so out of kilter with rates of income tax.

We may have to wait until the chancellor stands up for his first real Budget in the autumn to see the real Rishi Sunak.

The plight of first-time buyers

One area that does desperately need reform is in the buying and selling of homes. If the major problem with the housing market is affordability, how much excess price is built in because of friction in the sales process?

Sales fall through all the time because chains collapse, prices are inflated because of the competitiveness in the buying process and people are put off moving up and down the chain because of stamp duty. 

All of this affects house prices. When first-time buyers – albeit only those living in the south of England – moan about high house prices, they blame everyone from buy-to-let landlords, to baby boomers who have done well out of the market, and greedy builders.

Governments are very receptive to the plight of first-time buyers, so if this group started pointing the finger at the house sales process then maybe something might actually be done.

Active managers must be more active

Now is the time for active fund managers to show their mettle. If we are seeing a shift from growth to value, then there are going to be a lot of excuses trotted out by fund bosses whose style has fallen out of fashion.

The question will be: are they going to stick to their guns, or will they move with the times?

There is no point in an active manager if they blindly stick to their style in a market where it does not produce returns. You may as well just have a tracker.

James Coney is money editor of The Times and The Sunday Times