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Politicians have no idea about housing

by Ed Mead

Politicians have no idea about housing, so said the press yesterday morning. Why should they, it’s a market?

No one has really got any idea, so disparate is our market, and with Labour admitting they got it wrong and CLG carrying out a review of the private housing market it’s perhaps time for everyone to go back to encouraging people to move and to stop hand wringing.

Ultimately various Governments have failingly addressed the supply side of the market, and they’ve periodically tried to encourage the demand side with the resulting boom and busts. So sensitive are homeowners as voters that it wouldn’t be that prescient to suggest that interest rates are watched more for their effect on the housing market than they are for Industry or anything else.

If it is that important why is there so little attention given to keeping the wheels oiled. It’s been an immutable law that as Stamp Duty has gone up so the volume of sales has gone down. The plethora of amateur (and apart from the Land Registry that’s all they are) commentators can say what they like about whatever sector but volumes continue to fall and we’re about to get another cynical rise that’s going to lead to a further contraction.

Is it really that much of a leap of faith for the Coalition to accept that the best way they can free us the supply side of the property market is to put Stamp Duty where it should be, at 1%? There’s little doubt prices would come down in the short term but those voters they help move and get on the ladder would, I’m sure, be eternally grateful.

Ed Mead is a regular contributor to The Big Property List blog.  An Estate Agent for over 30 years, he has been writing and commentating on the market for over half of that as the Sunday Times Property Expert and The Agent Provocateur for the Telegraph.  He sits on the Board of The Property Ombudsman Ltd, has a regular LBC slot, and is happy to say it as it is.

Other places you can find him online are the Douglas & Gordon blog and Twitter


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