viewpoint

It seems the new Tory administration has finally left the circus and wants to join the housing revolution – about time, you may say

Secretary of State for Housing, Robert Jenrick, (yet another one through the revolving door of the department) wants to try and cure the ailing housing market, which only built 220,000 homes last year, which is still woefully short of the optimal number of about 300,000 per annum. The intention is to return to the halcyon days of the 1960s, hopefully without the urban blight of those miserable tower blocks.

A new guide for councils has been established which includes design control. The emphasis is on ‘leafy and green’, elevating quality over quantity. Presumably, this will avert the aesthetic pollution which happens when thousands of cheap’n’nasty, little boxes are spewed onto a green space with no infrastructure or forethought.

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Is the property market being polluted by another ‘initiative’?

According to a new website ‘Addresspollution.org’, the chattering-class ghettoes of Chelsea, Notting Hill, Regents Park and Camden suffer air pollution of well above the legal limit of 40micrograms of NO2 (Nitrogen Dioxide) per cubic metre of air (mcg/m3). I’m sure that much of this can be attributed to the residents’ penchant for spouting mindless, à la mode PC drivel.

Nevertheless, the safest areas for your lungs appear to be Sevenoaks and surprisingly, Biggin Hill, of all places! Yes, that Biggin Hill, whose annual air show must dump the equivalent of a Vesuvius eruption in the Kentish atmosphere. Apparently these towns bask in the lowest concentration of the nitrous pollutants. Read more

Switching stamp duty from buyers to sellers could upset loan to value ratio for mortgages

It’s always gratifying to see one’s ideas vindicated in reality – a kind of benign schadenfreude, if you like. This week, Sajid Javid mooted that he could switch Stamp Duty (SDLT) from buyers to sellers, which is a version of what I have been advocating for a number of years, particularly if the rate is significantly lowered.

Clearly, there is an intention of the new Tory regime to end the stagnation and distortion of the Residential Property Market, which was instigated by the witless former Chancellor George Osborne and his Stamp Duty escalator ‘reforms’ in the Autumn Budget of 2014. Read more