Trade agency Propertymark has called for the government’s housing market reforms to go further and has even suggested targeted stamp duty exemptions.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled plans last week to extend the right to buy to housing association tenants and launched a review of the scope of low deposit mortgages and further support for more people access the property ladder.
But Eleanor Bateman, head of policy for Propertymark, said more clarity was needed on the increased supply.
She said: ‘Sales and letting agents don’t have enough homes to meet the demand from buyers or tenants. What they needed to hear from the prime minister was more detail on how his government intends to ensure the planning system is fit to drive new supply.
“The Prime Minister has talked about unlocking small state-owned development sites, converting agricultural buildings and supporting self-build schemes – but these are simply not going to deliver the number of homes that we need on the ground to meet the demand.
“Making it easier for people to save for a deposit or get a mortgage as part of its upgrade program will be of little value if there aren’t the houses available for them to buy. .
Propertymark also suggested introducing new stamp duty incentives.
Bateman added: “It’s not just about speeding up construction.
“We believe more could be done to maintain turnover of existing housing, such as encouraging right sizing through targeted stamp duty exemptions, which could be further facilitated by policies that provide more suitable housing for elderly and disabled people.
Commenting on the mortgage review, Nathan Emerson, managing director of Propertymark, said: “We welcome the Prime Minister’s promise to review the mortgage market, because with rising interest rates many first-time buyers and current owners will continue to need assistance in accessing financing.
“However, in addition to looking at lending options, the UK government should think about what it can do to encourage sustainable pathways to home ownership, such as extending the Homeownership Assistance Loan. purchase of shares on the second-hand market and the reopening of the ISA purchase aid.
“Fundamentally, the UK government needs to increase the supply of housing and encourage movement in the housing market so that, alongside access to finance, potential buyers have something to buy.”