Guy Fawkes Was Right
Adrian Tod looks at some explosive ways to get the market moving this autumn.
Guy Fawkes was right - up to a point. The bit about assassinating the sovereign was certainly a step too far, as he found to his cost, but sometimes it does seem that parliament needs a rocket under it, metaphorically speaking.
Now is one of those times. We need to see workable ideas from both sides of the House that will help kick-start the property market and get it moving again after being becalmed for four long years. We really do not want to spend a fifth or sixth year in the doldrums. It is no good for the country and no good for us, or for future generations.
We also need policies that will drive more social housing and more buy/rent schemes through housing associations. We need a compassionate view of housing and an enlightened approach to maximising Brownfield opportunities while protecting, wherever possible, our precious green fields.
Another idea could be to reduce stamp duty. In its current form house buyers are paying a great deal of money to the Exchequer just for the privilege of moving. This is in addition to the 20% VAT received from almost everything connected with moving home. With housing transactions now 50% below the norm, reducing stamp duty could give the market a real shot in the arm and should benefit all - including the government.
So we hope this year as we remember, remember the 5th of November that the political parties feel the heat of fatigued would-be home-makers and house buyers. It is time to put a bomb under the banks and lenders so that they start being more realistic with mortgages and lending criteria.
In short, we can well do without gunpowder and treason but we do need a good plot to get the property market moving again.