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The housing policies from the Conservative Party seem to be most in-tune with the needs of first time buyers in the UK, particularly Help to Buy according to new research. In particular getting empty homes back in to the market has strong support but this was planned by the Liberal Democrats who are no longer in coalition with the Conservatives, says the Halifax Generation Rent report that provides ongoing insight into the attitudes and behaviour of young people towards home ownership. However, while five of the top nine policies were from the Conservative party, the top rated policy was put forward by the Liberal Democrats. The Liberal Democrat policy proposed increasing supply by giving greater powers to local authorities to tackle empty homes in the form of renovation and subsequent return of the property to the rental or sales markets. Increasing the supply of housing was the overall mandate given to the incoming Government by Generation Rent participants. All pledges to build more homes and to either reserve a proportion of these homes or offer them all to first time buyers were welcomed by the majority of respondents. Other popular policies included the Conservative proposals to launch a new Rent to Buy scheme and a new Right to Buy scheme. As a demand side policy the new Right to Buy scheme has received a mixed reception to date, but 54% of the young people surveyed in the Generation Rent Report thought it would be of benefit to getting more people on the housing ladder. ‘Housing was a major issue during the general election campaign and political parties of all hues acknowledged that more needs to be done to help first time buyers. However, this now needs to translate into concrete plans during the next Parliament,’ said Craig McKinlay, mortgages director at the Halifax. He pointed out that by taking the most beneficial cross party policy positions according to 20 to 45 year olds, the Generation Rent report has created the ‘ideal’ policy package. ‘Earlier this year the independent Commission on Housing identified that we need to deliver at least 2 million homes by 2025 to meet demand. Getting empty homes back on the market and tackling the shortfall in housebuilding needs to be a political priority and requires a long-term commitment if it’s to address the shortage of supply,’ he added. In the first two years of the Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme to 31 March 2015 some 47,018 properties were bought with an equity loan. Taking this into account the report found 53% of 20 to 45 year olds think the current Help to Buy schemes have had a positive impact, compared with 8% who think it has had a negative effect, and 39% who don’t know or are undecided. As such , the Conservative party proposal to extend the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme for new build homes until at least 2020 was popular among first time buyers with 56% expressing… Continue reading →
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