Thursday 26 June 2014

Outbreak of common sense…

… in London:

Half of Londoners want house prices to fall, an exclusive poll for the Standard reveals today. The startling find marks a historic about-turn in views on the soaring property market, say experts.

With the cost of buying a home rocketing out of the reach of ever more Londoners, almost a third of adults in the capital want property prices to go down “a lot”. A further 18 per cent favour them decreasing “a little”, the YouGov poll found, while just one in six people hopes prices carry on rising. The findings came as the Bank of England unveiled new measures to prevent an explosion of potentially dangerous mortgage debt that could stoke prices even higher.

Tanya Abraham of pollsters YouGov said: “While much has been made of the benefits of a house price boom, many Londoners don’t believe it’s a positive thing. Recently it seems thoughts have turned to the downside — namely, rising values locking many people out of buying a property.”

Home owners are now in a minority in London, with thousands of young “generation rent” workers feeling excluded from the property ladder by ever-rising prices. Those who have bought homes for the first time often find it impossible to move up to the next rung and would like to see prices falling. Younger adults aged 25 to 39, many of whom may be first-time buyers, appear most concerned about startling hikes of around 20 per cent a year in London, with 56 per cent of this group now wanting property prices to fall…

Paula Higgins, chief executive of the HomeOwners Alliance lobby group said: “There has been a fundamental, historic shift in attitudes that I don’t think the Government is aware of yet. People who own properties may have made money out of them but they now realise their children and grandchildren won’t have the same opportunities unless the Government stops this boom and bust property cycle.”

Until the 1980s the UK government had a raft of policies which prevented the worst excesses of the finance-land price boom bust cycle; it was made up of rent controls, mortgage multiple restrictions, social housing, high taxation of rental income, and bringing up the rear, Schedule A tax on owner-occupiers and Domestic Rates, all of which is moving vaguely towards a Land Value Tax system.

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