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It was a budget for old people. Lots of my fellow sad old gits want house prices to stay high. And boy has Hammond kept his end up. Have a G and T – jolly well done. Can’t wait to catch up at the golf club. Well unless some bounder has built over it.
Help to Buy is daft enough. The builders just use it as an excuse to whack up prices by 5%. Thanks to this ruse they’ve cleared near enough £3bn in the last year. And the guys at the top have trousered over £100m in pay since 2013. As I travel around I see vast Help to Buy farms. To the builders it’s just a cash crop. The poor punter takes the loss when prices cool.
To make matters worse Hammond has done away with stamp duty for first timers. You know what’s coming. The builders are rubbing their hands with glee. It’s time to ratchet up prices again. If buyers are not paying the stamp they can give it to us instead. The house always wins. So, everyone thinks their home is worth more than it really is. No one seems to realise it is yet another right to buy style scam to make you feel good with free money. God knows who is paying for this as the economy stalls.
I am loving the curse of Hammond though. Do you remember his U-turn on the self-employed last time? It’s déjà vu all over again. Lots of people were buying homes on the basis that the builder pays the stamp. What are they saying? We want the value of the stamp knocked off the price now. I love it when scammers get shafted.
What do you make of the stamp duty holiday limits? There’s nothing to pay on £300k or the first £300k on a £500k house in London. Median income in the UK sits at around £30k. That’s a hell of a lot of debt to take on. Don’t worry it’s not aimed at all of the young. You’ll find it’s another weasel way of helping the rich to get their kids out the house. As I say a budget for old gits.
And who wants a new house anyway? Not the public that’s for sure. A recent survey found that 80% of us don’t fancy a new home thank you very much. I wonder why? Could it be the damage done by Bovis and others with the daily stories of Laurel and Hardy build standards?
Can we stop all these silly games? Let’s just build homes that folk want to live in. Bring back the council house, we’ve missed you. And can the HCA please stop downgrading associations that build homes at social rents?
By Alistair McIntosh, HQN Chief Executive