Moving house is ranked as stressful as death and divorce. No surprise then that the twin evils of gazumping and gazundering send buyers’ and sellers’ blood pressure through the roof, whilst mugging their bank accounts. Therefore, anything that can ameliorate this pain, must be encouraged.
The government’s plan (assuming they will still be in power) is to introduce ‘reservation agreements’ between January to March 2020. Buyers and sellers alike would be committed to putting down £500 to £1000 before entering the offer process. Read more
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.
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