RICS calls for Government to do more for housing market

I welcome the recent report from RICS calling on the Government to introduce measures to encourage the housing market.  The report advises that for every £1 spent on construction there is a contribution of £2.84 towards economic activity.  It also advised that the construction industry employs around 900,000 people.  RICS has laid out plans very similar to my own to stimulate the new build market, in particular, cutting VAT on the refurbishment of homes, changes to the tax system to encourage residential property investment and reinstating empty commercial property relief.

Mark Goodwin from RICS comments: “With house building at a desperate level, it is essential that the Government takes steps to attract investment into the residential sector”.

I would urge the Chancellor to take active steps in his Budget to stimulate the housing market.

Lindsay Darroch
Head of Property Services

House sales in January below December levels

The RICS have issued their January review indicating that a lack of buyer demand and low levels of supply got the housing market off to a poor start this year.  The RICS report indicates that agreed sales continue to drop while weakness in market activity was at its lowest point since June 2009.  A RICS spokesperson has indicated that “uncertainty over the prospects for employment, alongside the shortage of mortgage finance, particularly for first time buyers, continues to way heavily on transaction levels.”

Although the RICS survey is a small snapshot it is taken into account by the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee at its monthly meetings to set interest rates.

This report certainly accords with my view and indicates the need for Government intervention and also shows the importance of an innovative and sales driven solicitor estate agent.  I will continue to keep you updated in respect of future figures and analysis.

Lindsay Darroch
Head of Property Services