Richard Ashton looks ahead at the 2017 general election and an all too often ignored – but vitally important – area of government policy.
Brexit, the economy and the NHS will no doubt dominate the 2017 general election. Energy, education and defence should also get a strong look-in while the devolved governments will be fighting each other to get as much air time as possible. But what about housing, as, on the evidence of the recent past, it always seems an after thought or knee jerk policy creator for any of the political party’s. This is clear as over the past nineteen years, and during the tenure of four prime ministers, there have been no fewer than fourteen housing ministers.
This housing minister’s post seems to have become a stepping-stone for those who are either on an upwardly mobile career path or heading in the opposite direction into the political wilderness. That such an important part of our daily lives can be dealt with in such a way seems short sighted and negative to most outside Westminster. Property is a national obsession yet the politicians seem to treat it as a short stop to somewhere else. Property also provides important jobs and revenue through associated industries such as furniture, flooring, lighting and decorating, and in the service sector – finance, legal, surveying, etc.
We are always hearing we need more housing in the UK and we need better housing. Yet successive governments have failed to plan, have failed to act and have failed to build the 250,000 new homes that we are estimated to need each year. They have failed to establish any sort of meaningful housing policy – indeed how could there be a meaningful one with so many different housing ministers? By contrast, in the same nineteen-year period there have been only seven home secretaries.
Too few new homes being built creates greater demand for the properties that are already here. Strong demand and insufficient supply inevitably means rising property prices. The lack of any cohesive housing policies over two decades has not just added to the housing problem but has helped create it.
No market likes uncertainty and for the fourth year in succession we have an important election which will bring fresh uncertainty. Brexit will rumble on for several years yet, adding to this uneasiness. But we hope that whichever party prevails on 8th June the new prime minister will take his or her housing ministry more seriously and not just kick the subject into the long grass. We need a committed housing minister prepared to stay in the job for more than sixteen months.
We also hope that the new chancellor will not use housing as another easy way to create revenue without first thinking through the implications a higher rate of tax will have on the property market as a whole, and more importantly on our lives as – after all we all have to live somewhere.
If you are interested in having a chat with us to discuss your new home, please feel free to give me a call on 01684 561411 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Richard Ashton from Allan Morris takes a fresh look at the property market this spring.
Spring has arrived and the migratory instincts of home movers are at their annual peak. Some home migrants will only be moving a short distance from their existing habitat. Others will have a longer passage to different parts of the country or even overseas. But this is certainly home moving season. Can nothing stop this natural urge? Well yes, there are a few things. Some commentators spreading doom and gloom about Brexit and higher stamp duty won’t help. Then there attractive-sounding but unrealistic prices – peddled by new-to-the-industry agents working from laptops in their distant far away habitat! All this chatter can confuse some buyers and sellers. It certainly doesn’t help to point them in the right direction.
But it needn’t be like this. The property market isn’t a big scary place of self-serving hangers-on and an empty horizon with no end in sight. Instead it can be an exciting place full of new birth, regeneration, ambition and hope. It can also be a place of honest and sound advice.
Now moving home is seldom easy. Just ask the millions of birds who make their journeys each year. It can be an exhausting business. But it is worth it in the end. A new habitat brings a wonderful change of scene and fresh opportunities.
So carefully choose where you are going, prepare well and spread your wings. Birds use the stars to help them navigate. In-the-know people use experienced estate agents to help guide them. They don’t use inexperienced ones, as they will only get them lost!
Migration isn’t only for the birds and happily most of us migrate for life-improving and life-affirming reasons. But we are the lucky ones. Do spare a thought this Easter for all those around the world migrating for life-threatening reasons.
If you are interested in local migratory patterns in South Worcestershire, or would just be keen to know the value of your home in this Spring, please feel free to give me a call on 01684 561411 or email me at email@example.com.
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