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Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors housing proposals

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors says

“Dealing with the current housing market downturn requires significant and decisive action from the Government whose attempts to address the problems facing the market up to now have been limited and have had little real impact.

“To encourage the Government to take action, RICS has put together a package of measures that will help address the downturn in the property market, help people who want to own a home and improve the home buying, selling and renting experience for consumers. These issues will not be resolved by a series of small individual measures but must instead be dealt with by looking at the system as a whole…”

But what is proposed is nothing more than a series of small individual measures which do not address the underlying problem. Needless to say, there is no suggestion of replacing the existing rats’ nest of land taxes with LVT. The proposals include…

Mortgage market liquidity – The Government should incentivise the issuance of new mortgage backed securities and covered bonds by allowing investors who buy them to enter into a repurchase arrangement with the Bank of England. This process would use the same repurchase system as the existing Special Liquidity Scheme but would require the MBS or bonds to be sold in a public issue before being eligible for repurchase. It would also be specifically aimed at improving the flow of funding for new mortgage lending.  RICS recommends that a proportion of this funding should be specifically allocated to first time buyers.

First time buyer savings scheme – The Government should establish a tax free savings account supported by Government contributions to help first time buyers save for a deposit.

Stamp duty – The Government should introduce a short term stamp duty holiday which links seamlessly into longer term reform to introduce a marginal stamp duty rate.

Preventing repossessions – The Government should encourage Residential Social Landlords (RSLs) to offer mortgage rescue schemes that would see them buying a share in a home that is being repossessed and enabling the current occupiers to continue to live there.

Link to RICS Housing Proposals