NEWS: Off target?
Oh dear. Just as the media is clamouring for more insight into the housing sector after the Brexit vote, the cross party Economic Affairs Committee releases a report called Building More Homes.
It's conclusion? The government isn't. Building more homes, that is.
In fact, the committee goes further and says that the government's target to build new homes isn't nearly tough enough, and should be increasing its current commitment by a whopping 50 per cent. That means 300,000 new homes would need to be built each year which, says the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), “is a tall order.”
“Politicians can set as many targets as they like but unless we look at the reasons why not enough houses are being built things will not improve,” says Mark Hayward, Managing Director of NAEA.
In other news, the private rented sector continues its rapid growth across the UK; while a new forecast says that house prices will fall by 1% in 2017 before rising by 2% in 2018.
NEWS: Moving out
One month on and everyone in politics, on TV and in the media has stopped talking endlessly about the European referendum. Thank goodness for that!
Unfortunately, they're now talking endlessly about Brexit — and chances are they won't stop talking about it for the next five years. Because as new PM Theresa May made clear just as she was about to move into her new home, Number 10 Downing Street, “Brexit means Brexit — and we're going to make a success of it!” Which is a much better message to send than, “Brexit means Brexit — and we're going to make a hash of it!”
In the main, landlords seem to be sanguine about the EU result. For one thing, as the Sunday Times pointed out, it may mean fewer rules with a “potential question mark over, for example, the EU ban on letting homes with poor energy efficiency, due to start in 2018.” It's not yet clear what will happen to Brits who own properties abroad, mind you — and depending on which newspaper you read, house prices are either tumbling or rising, post-referendum. Either way, buckle up, property watchers. This Brexit thing could be quite an interesting ride...
NEWS: Heading for the door marked 'Brexit'
Seismic. A political earthquake. Unprecedented.
In the early hours of 24 June, the superlatives started to fly as it became clear that the British public had voted to leave the European Union. The political ramifications were immediately apparent: within hours, David Cameron had resigned and Boris Johnson was being talked of as his successor. The financial markets and the pound plunged.
Yet in property terms — as with so much else connected to this historic vote — it's unclear as to what could happen next.
Melanie Leech, Chief Executive of the British Property Federation, summed up the mood of many property experts and analysts, however, with her statement. “The priority for the government and the Bank of England must now be to stabilise the position and maintain confidence in the UK,” she said. Depending on what side of the remain/leave divide you are, this is either a desperately worrying and uncertain time — or the beginning of an exciting new era of UK growth and opportunity...
NEWS: Referendum time
Brexit, we have been told, could cause a variety of problems, the biggest of which (by some margin) is World War Three. On the other hand, it has also been suggested that staying in the EU would be tantamount to appeasing Hitler.
Yes: we've not had the most edifying or rational of debates in the run-up to the EU referendum. But at least it's here: the month when we put our cross in the box marked Britain 'in' or 'out' of Europe. There is, though, just time to squeeze in one more in/out warning. Echoing similar sentiments from the International Monetary Fund and the National Association of Estate Agents, Chancellor George Osborne has said that houses could be worth up to 18% less by 2018 if the UK votes to leave. Energy minister Andrea Leadsom from Vote Leave, meanwhile, said this was “an extraordinary claim” and that “the greatest threat to the economy is the perilous state of the euro.”
So that's just as confusing as ever, then. Roll on 23 June.