Posts tagged ‘housing’

Chancellor George Osborne outlines housing policy in his Autumn Statement

Chancellor George Osborne is determined to ‘avoid the mistakes’ of the last decade and ‘keep Britain moving’.


landmarkmedia /

At the heart of his housing policy announced in the Autumn Statement is building more homes.

He said: “Some of the most important infrastructure for British families is housing and we have to confront this simple truth: if we want more people to own a home, we have to build more homes.”

He also announced £1bn of loans to unblock large housing developments on sites around the country and confirmed that lenders Aldermore and Virgin are set to join the Help to Buy Scheme. The Help to Buy Scheme was introduced earlier this year to help those with a small deposit to buy a home.

“I can announce today that Aldermore and Virgin, two challenger banks, expect to join the scheme this month. Help to aspiring families and building more homes – that’s what we stand for,” said Osborne.

But he added a word of caution, saying: “We must also avoid the mistakes of the last decade.

“We want a responsible recovery….We want a functioning, stable housing market.”

Other items included:

  • Regenerating some of the most run down urban housing estates
  • Councils to sell off the most expensive social housing, so they can house more families for the same money
  • Giving working people in social housing a priority right to move if they need to for a job
  • Introduction of Capital Gains Tax on future gains made by non residents who sell residential property in the UK

The measures received a mixed welcome from the housing industry, with NHBC’s chief executive, Mike Quinton, saying: “We welcome today’s Autumn Statement highlighting measures to support house-building in the UK.”

David Newnes, of LSL Property Services – owners of the largest lettings agency in the UK – said: “Today the Chancellor has laid down some concrete steps to address the lack of supply in new housing, but this is only the start on the wider path to solving the problem. While Government initiatives such as the Funding for Lending and Help to Buy schemes have bolstered the recovery this year, the elephant in the room has always been the woeful shortage of new homes.

“The pledge of £1bn of loans to unlock large housing developments is certainly a welcome move and plans to increase local authorities’ housing revenue account borrowing limits are encouraging measures, both will play a part in boosting house supply, while at the same time preventing house prices from rising out of reach of buyers. Equal focus on expanding the Right to Buy offer and the Government’s investment into affordable housing shows efforts are being made. The Government must continue to lend a helping hand to aspiring buyers, so that they can achieve their dream of home ownership, while emphasising the need for more homes to support a healthy rate of recovery for the market as we move into 2014.”

Elsewhere, on the taxing of non residents, Liam Bailey, of estate agents Knight Frank, said: “Tax is not the primary driver for the majority of international buyers of residential property in London. We anticipate that the removal of the CGT exemption for non-resident purchasers will have only a marginal impact on demand and pricing.”

December 5, 2013 at 12:50 PM 2 comments

Zoopla’s top 50 areas for asking price reductions

Almost one-third (32%) of property for sale in Britain today, has had their asking price reduced at least once since they were first listed on the market.

Our latest research reveals an average price drop of 6.1% for all homes that have been discounted and a total of £1.5 billion that has been slashed off the asking prices of properties that are currently listed for sale on (did you know we’re the only site to allow users to sort results by the properties that have been most reduced in price?).

At least one-third of properties for sale have been discounted from their original asking price in 36 of the main 50 cities/towns we studied – full list – as more and more sellers are cautiously reducing asking prices in a bid to attract buyers and lock in the house price gains of the past 16 months.

Barnsley tops the list of locations that have seen the most price reductions with 44% of all properties currently listed for sale having been discounted at some point. At the other end of the scale, only 24% of current sellers in Glasgow have knocked anything off their original listing price.

The highest average price reductions have been in Rotherham, Manchester and Barnsley, where average asking prices have been discounted by 7.1%. In Rotherham that represents a £9,442 drop in asking prices whilst average prices have been reduced by £11,376 in Manchester and £8,978 in Barnsley. By contrast, average price reductions in the south have been smaller, with average asking prices in Chelmsford and Brighton both having been reduced by 5.1%, or £18,814 and £19,928 respectively.

At the top end of the market, for properties with current asking prices of £1+ million, sellers are not feeling the pinch to quite the same degree with only 22% of properties having been reduced in price since first being put on the market. However, for those properties that have been reduced in this price bracket, the discount is much higher than the average at 9.6%.

Price reductions in 10 key British cities/towns

Rank Location % of Listings with
Price Reductions
Avg. Price
Reduction (%)
Avg. Price
Reduction (£)
1 Barnsley 44.7% -7.1% -£8,978
2 Bristol 42.9% -6.0% -£13,162
3 Rotherham 40.6% -7.1% -£9,442
4 Swindon 40.3% -5.2% -£10,207
5 Stockport 39.7% -6.3% -£12,796
6 Norwich 38.9% -5.7% -£12,328
7 Lincoln 38.8% -6.7% -£13,232
8 Wakefield 38.8% -6.0% -£11,966
9 Luton 38.6% -6.1% -£10,962
10 Northampton 38.4% -5.6% -£11,435

Source: (as at August 1st 2010)

Full Top 50 list here

Please feel free to share and use these findings, all we ask is that you credit the source as the and link to either or


  • Price reductions based on all properties listed for sale as at 1st August 2010
  • Includes all price reductions since the property was first listed for sale on
  • The Top 50 are taken from the key cities/towns across Britain based on the number of properties listed for sale

August 4, 2010 at 8:08 AM Leave a comment


Following on from the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats releasing their ‘Coalition Agreement’ document on 12th May which confirmed, under the Environment section (pt 6), that “Home Information Packs (HIPs) are to be scrapped and Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) retained” mass confusion set in and home owners, agents, Lawyers and HIP providers each reacted in their own way – some of the comments can be read here.

The main points for debate surrounded the absence of any time scale, resulting unemployment and the legal issues facing home owners and estate agents.

Well, the Government has acted pretty quickly (eight days) and fulfilled their manifesto and confirmed today that HIPS have been suspended. This was announced at a press conference held at Bullman Booth estate agents in Battersea, London.

Full press release on Communities and Local Government website.

This should now banish any second thoughts or delays from home owners who were waiting in the wings to sell their property.

CLG Secretary of State Eric Pickles said:

“HIPs are history. This action will encourage sellers back into the market and help the market as a whole, and the economy recover.”

Housing minister Grant Shapps said:

“This is a great example of how this new Government is getting straight down to work by cutting away pointless red-tape that is strangling the market. Rather than shelling out hundreds of pounds for nothing in return we’re stripping away bureaucracy and letting home owners sell their properties.

“But we’re also showing our commitment to a greener housing market by keeping Energy Performance Certificates and making them more relevant in helping buyers make informed decisions on the energy costs of their new home.”

Here’s our comment on the situation from our Commercial Director, Nick Leeming. Do let us know your thoughts on the situation using the comment box below.

“There were serious concerns that a delay in the scrapping of HIPs would harm the housing market by deterring would-be sellers from putting their homes on the market. But the government has responded quickly and the imminent suspension of HIPs will banish any second thoughts from homeowners. The writing was always on the wall for HIPs. The packs did not contain all the key information buyers and solicitors would need and sellers were always reluctant to incur additional costs – particularly during the economic downturn when there was no guarantee of a sale completing. The inevitable job losses are unquestionably a bitter blow for those who paid considerable amounts to train as home inspectors. The hope is that the demise of HIPs will boost the housing market recovery and, in turn, create further employment in the sector.”

Please feel free to use Nick’s comment above; all we ask is that you credit the source as Nick Leeming, Commercial Director, and link to

May 20, 2010 at 9:24 AM 3 comments

CONFIRMATION: Grant Shapps Housing Minister

Grant Shapps, the Conservatives’ former shadow housing minister,  has confirmed, via his twitter page last night, that he has been appointed Minister of State for Housing.

It is understood that the role no longer has Cabinet status and therefore, unlike his Labour predecessor, he will not attend Cabinet meetings.

Is this, coupled with the time it took to make the appointment, an indication as to where housing is on the list of priorities?

Let us know your thoughts below.

A full guide to Cabinet members can be found here.

About Grant Shapps

Previous positions held

MP for Welwyn Hatfield, May 2005 –

Vice-Chairman of Conservative Party Campaigning, Dec 2005 –

Shadow Minister for Housing, June 2007 – May 2010

Proudest political achievement

Founding the Conservative Homelessness Foundation

Interests outside of politics

Aviation (holds a pilot’s licence)

Family life

Married to Belinda

Three children: Hadley and twins, Noa and Tabytha

Information taken from the Conservatives website

May 14, 2010 at 8:01 AM 1 comment

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