budget coins

09 Mar 23

The government must focus on measures in next week’s Budget that will boost significantly the supply of homes, according to lettings agency Winkworth.  

Dominic Agace, chief executive of the franchise chain, tells the company’s latest podcast: “A healthy housing market is a blend of Gen Rent and Gen Buy. The Chancellor needs to focus on supply. The latest actions by the Conservatives have damaged the supply of homes, with industry bodies warning that output will drop to 110,000 houses by 2030. 

“The government needs to enable developers to build more houses. We need a replacement for Help to Buy to assist first time buyers to get on the housing ladder and to enable developers to build more homes. 

“The Chancellor needs to introduce tax changes to make more of the housing stock we already have by encouraging downsizers, so we don’t have four bedroom houses occupied by one person who can’t afford to move due to high taxes, blocking a young family from moving up the ladder. The government needs to encourage empty nesters to sell through tax incentives, both stamp duty and inheritance taxes, to benefit the next generation.  

“The Chancellor also needs take urgent action in the buy to let sector. We want to tread a line making rentals a better place for long-term tenants but have we gone too far? Tax relief on mortgage interest for landlords needs to be reinstated.” 

He adds: “There are conversations about rent caps. You will affect supply if you put rent caps in place in the models for private landlords and for Build to Rent investors. If you remove rent tracking slightly above inflation over a 10-year period, then institutions will not invest and homes will not get built.” 

Anthony Emmerson, director of mortgage specialist Trinity Financial, also tells the podcast: “We are going to see 300,000 fewer rental properties available in the coming year nationally as landlords exit the market. The Chancellor needs to rethink the way property is taxed. Landlords should be treated as businesses.  Businesses are able to offset their costs and landlords should not be different. 

“We also have a looming problem with the Energy Performance Certificates. Landlords are going to have to invest tens of thousands of pounds to overhaul their properties, replacing windows and boilers, and bring them up to the specification demanded by the government, which can’t be done with a tenant in situ. There are properties across London that just cannot reach the required levels.” 

Winkworth has over 100 branches across the UK, 60 of which are in London.

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