Archive for December, 2019

General Election 2019 – what do the parties say about the property sector?

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As Britain enters the final week before the general election polls open on 12 December, competition for every seat if fierce.

In Labour’s general election manifesto, Jeremy Corbyn promises to ‘transform’ the UK with an ambitious set of pledges. For the Conservatives, underlying every policy announcement is Boris Johnson’s promise to ‘get Brexit done.’ And Jo Swinson’s Liberal Democrats want to ‘stop Brexit’ and ‘build a brighter future.’

But what do the three main parties say about housing? From reforms for renters to housebuilding and energy efficiency, we break down some manifesto pledges that concern the property sector.

Housebuilding

The Conservatives say they will build at least a million more homes over the next parliament in an effort to reach their existing, 300,000 homes a year, target by the mid-2020s.

The Liberal Democrats also make pledges around this figure – they will build 300,000 homes per year by 2024, including 100,000 social housing units.

Labour announced a £75 billion programme to build 150,000 council or housing association homes a year, with 50,000 being ‘genuinely affordable’ based on local incomes.

Landlords and tenants

The Conservatives will follow through on their pledge to end Section 21 no-fault evictions. The party also wants to introduce ‘lifetime deposits’, where tenants transfer their deposit from one property to another.

The Liberal Democrats want mandatory licensing of landlords and longer tenancies, of 3+ years. They would also introduce a Help to Rent scheme, providing government-backed tenancy deposit loans for first-time renters under 30.

Labour would introduce rent controls, capped by inflation and end no-fault evictions by creating open-ended tenancies.

Homebuyers

Labour wants to reform the Help to Buy scheme, increasing its focus on first-time buyers on ordinary incomes. The Conservatives will introduce ‘lifetime’ fixed-rate mortgages, with a 5% deposit.

There are no proposed changes to stamp duty for ordinary buyers. But all three manifestos address non-UK residents buying homes in the UK. Boris Johnson has pledged a stamp duty surcharge of 3% and Labour would add a 20% surcharge for foreign companies buying here.

Energy efficiency

The Liberal Democrats would launch a programme to insulate all of Britain’s homes by 2030, cutting both emissions and fuel bills.

Labour has announced a ‘new green deal’, creating one million jobs to tackle climate change. Among its pledges is a promise to upgrade 27 million homes to the highest energy-efficiency standard.

The Conservatives say that homes will be made more energy efficient, with £9.2 billion to be spent on insulation, and similar measures for schools and hospitals.

Read a quick guide to each party’s pledges in the Guardian.

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