Boom or Bust – Yet another misleading headline !!

The Government has just announced another initiative on top of the Help to buy scheme. Do you think a Discount of 20% is just more tinkering with the Market or will it make a significant differrence for first time buyers and the property market as a whole?

So what about the 40+ who may or may not be first time buyers? Will they have a say in future?

How will this really help a market that is growing in some areas and not others?

In my view the whole of the way that the property market and the stakeholders involved in providing the goods and associated services is in need of radical reform. Dare I say even discard the present system and start again-now that’s radical!

Successive Governments have meddled with only certain parts of the market which has skewed and in some cases adversely affected its growth.

Is stamp duty still something that will stay in the market or does a review need to be carried out. It is my view that if stamp duty were calculated in much the same way as income tax then there  will be a fairer way of ensuring that full tax is paid rather than taxpayers resorting to avoidance schemes. The banding can start from say £200,000.00 with a rate of 0.5% and then increase in increments up to a top rate of say 10% for high value transactions. This will mean that the revenue take for HMRC is more likely to increase rather than reduce as more transactions will take place at Market Value rather than (as happens today) priced just below a stamp duty band.

The cost of building a property and the time taken from design to inception also needs addressing even with the relaxation of planning regulations. Many brownfield sites are disregarded since the cost of decontamination exceeds the projected profitability. This is clearly a waste of land resources and must be tackled at some stage or the availability of building land will run out.

Then look at the time wasted in the conveyancing process either by Lawyers refusing to deal efficiently with transactions for various reasons or Lenders taking excessive time in approving mortgage applications. Add to that the excessive regulation of both Lawyers and Lenders then you have a recipe for delay. That is without thinking of the chain system we have in England and Wales with each party involved having varios priorities which do not match. So reform of this area is both desirable and in my view needed urgently if the economy is to benefit fully from this marketplace.

What do you think?  How do you propose that reform can take place? Is the Government prepared to take hold of this nettle and properly deal with this problem?