James Coney  

We need a housing stock reset

James Coney

James Coney

That’s a very Tory ideal. However, what it does nothing to do is solve the underlying issue affecting first-time buyers in London and the home counties, and that is the cost of homes. In fact all it will do is exacerbate rising prices.

And no matter what the best intentions of any Conservative, the problem will always be that Tory councillors who want to succeed will always end up looking after their community of current homeowners at the expense of future ones.

As a result, what’s currently happening is all of the affordability tests baked in since the last crisis are being undone.

What we need is not longer and bigger mortgages that run in to retirement, but a reset on housing stock. I can’t see that happening though, either.

The guidance issue

Speaking of rule changes, I typed the word ‘guidance’ into my email search the other day. Up sprang press release after press release from insurers and investment platforms.

The lobbying effort is well under way.

It’s almost like it has been co-ordinated.

I’m tied on the issue of extending guidance. On one hand I do think a middle ground needs to be found between full-fat advice and bog-standard generic information. Not for the sake of pension savers, but for those on the breadline who need advice from the likes of credit unions who can’t give it.

But on the other hand, some of the worst mis-selling scandals started with advice.

Perhaps, though, the near total death of commission means the worst problems are already fixed.

Talk the talk

Whenever any money news breaks, an investment platform sends out their latest thoughts.

From budgeting to inflation, money-saving tips to energy costs, they’ve got an opinion.

It’s an arms race. But what’s it achieving?

James Coney is money editor of the Times and Sunday Times