NEWS: Good to share
New year, new deal. The Government has announced that it is relaxing the rules of shared ownership — homes which people can part-buy and part-rent — so that, from April, those earning below £80,000 in England (£90,000 in London) will be eligible for the scheme. “By relaxing some of the existing restrictions, a potential 175,000 aspiring homeowners will be given the opportunity to own their own home, as well as allowing existing shared ownership homeowners the opportunity to step up the ladder,” says Mark Hayward, managing director, National Association of Estate Agents. “However, as with all housing promises, they can’t come quick, or big enough.”
The Government also announced that it is imposing a five-year limit on new tenancies for council houses, meaning that tenants will no longer have the right to live in their council homes for life.
Will George get Britain building?
In the Commons at the end of November, George Osborne conjured several unexpected rabbits out of his Autumn Statement hat. His U-turn on tax credits hogged most of the headlines, but the Chancellor also had various major announcements to make regarding housing, including news of a 3% surcharge on stamp duty for buy-to-let properties and second homes from April 2016. This will hit landlords hard said critics, and could drive up the cost of rents.
The Chancellor also said he was going to tackle the “crisis in home ownership” with a £7billion pledge to deliver “the largest house building programme since the 1970s”. That means delivering 400,000 new homes by 2020.
It's very nearly 2016. Better get building.
News: Good for starters?
David Cameron has pledged to do away with planning rules that require property developers to build affordable homes for rent — an idea that aims to increase the building of homes for first-time buyers. The Conservatives know they have to deliver on the promises announced in their manifesto: namely that 200,000 starter homes will be built over the course of the next Parliament, reserved for first-time buyers under 40 and sold at 20 per cent below the market price. Mark Hayward, Managing Director of the National Association of Estate Agents, says that while this is good news, 200,000 homes “simply isn’t enough bricks and mortar to lift us out of the crisis we currently find ourselves in.”
So... will more be said about housing when George Osborne delivers his Autumn Statement on 25 November, alongside the government's spending review? We'll wait and see...
Some residents of Molesey may recall the ghostly figure caught on CCTV footage at Hampton Court Palace back in 2003. We've put together a list of some of the ghostly goings on at the famous Molesey landmark.