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Category: government and politics

After new Tory housing policies are leaked to the press, both landlords and renters are in agreement: neither are a fan.

The Tory Party have leaked pre-election policies, aimed at helping first-time buyers. Since then, Michael Gove has publicly told The Times there will ‘definitely’ be schemes to support them.

However, industry leaders from Generation Rent (a charity for private renters), and the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) have both publicly criticised the proposals.

Why are the Conservative Party focusing on first-time buyers?

To win votes.

With Labour leading in the polls, the Tory Party are attempting regain a decent market share by releasing enticing policies.

According to a survey published by Statistica (a leading statistics platform), in September 2023, only 13 per cent of respondents aged 25 to 49 intended to vote for the Conservative Party.

The Tories believe a number of favourable policies can win over a portion of this age group, one of which being re-introducing first-time buyer mortgages (long term fixed rates with high loan-to-values).

The aim is to alleviate the burden of large initial deposits, making homeownership more accessible for those with decent incomes, but struggling to get on the property ladder.

Additionally, the Tory Party are exploring a revamped version of the Help to Buy scheme, which previously offered equity loans for up to 40% of the property purchase price, with minimal deposits.

The government is also contemplating changes to stamp duty to further assist first-time buyers.

Interestingly, however, these proposals have appeared to unite leaders from both renters and landlords groups alike.

Landlords and renters in agreement

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the NRLA, took to X (formerly Twitter) to voice his concerns regarding the leaked Tory proposals, he said:

Homeownership is obviously great - but given there are one million-plus people on social housing waiting lists, 25 applications for each rental property, a record spend on temporary accommodation, highest rents on record and lowest landlord profits since 2007, shouldn’t renting be the focus?

Dan Craw, Deputy Chief Executive of Generation Rent also expressed his concerns regarding the proposed Tory policies. He said:

Oh, it’s longer term mortgages to the rescue again. I wonder if it’s the same longer term mortgages that have screwed up the US housing market where hardly anyone wants to move because it would mean losing the low interest rate they locked in pre-2022?

As the Conservatives gear up for a General Election, the housing debate intensifies.

The party, under the housing leadership of Michael Gove, appears determined to prioritise first-time buyers. However, with vocal criticism from the rental sector, there is a growing call for a more balanced approach that addresses the needs of both landlords and renters alike.

As the political landscape evolves, finding a middle ground that promotes housing affordability and stability for all remains a key challenge.