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April 13, 2010



If the idea is to help out first time buyers, why on Earth wouldn't you just build more houses or refurbish/renovate old ones, selling them for around £120k...?

Leigh Caldwell

Because that would hurt retiring homeowners when they trade down, of course! This is politics, we want a free lunch.

Not incidentally, homeowners close to retirement have a higher propensity to vote than likely first-time buyers. And there are more of them.

The best way, of course, to boost the value of existing homes is to encourage more inward migration. No doubt we will hear all the major parties promoting that idea over the next three weeks...


Isn't it also the case that if it goes on the house price you can usually load it on the mortgage, whereas stamp duty has to be paid in cash. Which is a pain, although I'm not sure 'encouraging bigger mortgages' would be a good campaign slogan.


Don't know if you saw Mark Easton's recent article, but he asked each of the main parties whether they thought it would be better for the country if house prices rose or fell.

Not one of them deigned to answer this simple question (not even to offer the obvious get-out of saying they were in favour of price stability.) I think that tells us something about how open and honest the political parties intend to be about this issue.


Let's be honest with ourselves. Neither political party has much interest in helping first-time buyers. Governments of both stripes have encouraged middle-income households to borrow excessively, bidding up house prices and effecting a massive transfer of wealth from the young to the old. Given the old are more likely to vote, why would you care about the young? The fact that this policy reached its peak under a Labour government - and that same government implemented massive policy interventions to support house prices - is a damning indictment of our sense of social justice. All homeowners are complicit in this disgraceful charade.


Housing has been turned into a free market for far too long.

The things that limit markets are supply issues - and finance.

Affordability has already outstripped supply.

Why because there is not finite space on a small island.

So either we build all over the green space we have left or we begin to limit the market.

Stopping people buying more than 2 houses to live-in this will suppress costs significantly.

Will it hurt people retiring possibly - but all you are doing is passing the suffering onto a younger generation.

Money will soon find something else to invest in - it always does - whether it be tulips or pension funds.


Well, almost six months on and the first-time buyers market seems to have slumped further into decline. The prevailing faction appears to reside with the excessive deposits required by lenders responding to increased legislation as opposed to stamp duty though.

real estate

The problem with real estate is that you can't really put any restrictions on buyers nor sellers, because it's a free market owned by private investors. This is a worldwide issue. in some countries such as the US and Germany there are districts in which there is supervision on rental prices, but not much more than that...The problem is that prices keep ascending, and one day, like in the states, the bubble will burst and then everyone will suffer (not just first time buyers or retiring house-owners)

chris Pia

Interesting article, I am not sure how I came across an real estate article, but interesting read.

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