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Right to Buy & The Planning System

18 October 2011

Right to Buy and the Planning System.  

Following an energetic party conference season we move into the traditionally slower property market period in the run up to Christmas. This year we see a cooling off of First Time Buyer (FTBs) activity as buyers stretch themselves to raise adequate deposits. Meanwhile, the Government, through policy direction, are furthering Right to Buy (RTB) and opening up the planning system to less regulation and commitment to building new homes and supporting initiatives. But what can we, as industry stakeholders, do within our power to assist? 

Colleys, as a solely residential surveying firm, are close to the reality of the market and we are keen to support these new initiatives as part of our wider remit as advisers to and part of Lloyds Banking Group. The Government have a desire to give more families the "leg up" onto the property ladder and this is similar to Colleys' focus of helping customers achieve home ownership.

Instead of the Government's proposed land reform being a final sell off of local authority housing, the intention is to build one new council home per existing home sold. There are still two million homes available to be bought, so even if there is a small up-take, the knock-on effect on house building and the economy could be huge. There have been press reports that this will be in the region of 100,000 homes in the short term, and could in due course be as many as 400,000 (1) This seems to sit comfortably with the government proposed planning policy framework without contradicting some long standing policies such as Green Belt (2) We have a great opportunity in the market to plan our input.

Whilst the market in the general sense may be quiet there are a lot of positive opportunities developing in a cross-section of the market. FTBs are being tempted to the market by new ownership schemes, while developers are being offered the carrot of a changed planning system and the rental market (and in turn the Buy to Let mortgage market) is strengthening and widening. 

We are excited to see how the possible changes to the planning system and Government reform and policy develops and what that might do for the economy as a whole; along with the role industry stakeholders like ourselves can play in boosting the housing market, and economy leading into 2012.


Colleys – the Property Experts




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