Podcast  

Govt has policy levers ‘at disposal’ to solve housing crisis

Govt has policy levers ‘at disposal’ to solve housing crisis

The government has policy levers “at its disposal” to solve the “market failures” which have led to the housing supply crisis in the UK, according to Propertymark’s policy officer.

On FTAdviser’s latest podcast, Ellie Bateman stressed the need for a planning bill to provide certainty for developers and investors, as well as more investments made by the government and a review of tax regimes which are disincentivizing investors from selling property.

“We’ve ended up with a system that is very unbalanced and doesn’t deliver the housing we need where we need it,” said Bateman.

“Local planning authorities fundamentally need to be adequately resourced to implement, to enforce, to do their jobs.

"They also need to have access to funding - upfront funding, marginal viability funding - so they can take a more plan-led approach, rather than be reliant on developers in a piecemeal fashion.

“Then we’d see housing supply in the areas we need it [with] the right tenures…This can be solved but what we need is the political will to want to do it.”

Bateman added that the government has policy levers “at its disposal” to solve the “market failures” which have led to the housing supply crisis, and urged it to act on these levers.

She is hopeful of a planning bill by spring, though there are reports housing minister Michael Gove might scrap a planning bill altogether.

Imran Hussain, a Nottingham-based broker at Harmony Financial Services, also raised his concerns around planning.

“Planning does need to be looked at or become very streamlined so developers can get involved and start building houses, or returning derelict properties into habitable homes for families,” said Hussain.

“Potentially looking at the capital gains changes to allow investors to offload property at a quicker rate than they are doing now, mainly due to taxation and that landlords can no longer write-off mortgage interest rate relief.

“The taxation hasn’t worked for landlords, so why not incentivise them to sell without a massive penalty? If not, we are going to be here in ten years’ time talking about how to solve the housing crisis.”

You can listen to the full podcast via the link above.

ruby.hinchliffe@ft.com