Government urged to develop more new homes

Posted 18 November 2013 by Keith Osborne

The government needs to step up its efforts to develop more new homes in order to meet soaring demand for residential properties in this country, according to a leading think tank.

With demand for housing set to continue growing, the Policy Exchange estimates that in the region of 1.5m new homes, or 300,000 units each year, need to be developed from 2015 to 2020, to help meet rising demand for housing. Such a move would also help to plug the growing supply-demand imbalance, which is pushing property prices higher and beyond reach of many would-be property purchasers.

Aside from making it easier for housebuilders to develop much needed new homes, including affordable housing, the think tank is also calling on the government to not introduce any further taxes on property in this country in order to make it easier for people to own a home.

According to the researchers, council tax charges, inheritance tax, stamp duty and capital gains levies have pushed UK tax charges to more than double the average throughout the OECD, making them the highest property taxes in the developed world.

"The evidence shows where excess credit and under-supply exist, taxation or subsidy can only have a limited impact," said Alex Morton, head of housing, planning and urban policy at Policy Exchange. "That is why policymakers should ignore calls for a new round of property taxes, and instead commit to spreading the benefits of homeownership and stabilising the UK economy by building at least 1.5m new homes over the course of the next Parliament.

"This means serious reform of the planning system and creating new ways to deliver housing."



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