Building new homes is the only answer to the housing crisis, says HBF

Building more homes is the way to solve Britain’s housing problems, not imposing rent controls, the HBF has said, following Ed Miliband’s proposed reforms of the private rented sector yesterday.

“Building more new homes is the only answer to solving the problems caused by the country’s housing crisis. New homes are required in all tenures; for people to buy or rent as well as more new affordable homes, said Stewart Baseley, the HBF’s executive chairman.

“Any new intervention in the market has to be measured against the potential impact on investment and new housing supply. We would be very concerned about any measures that could damage the private rental sector or buy to let market or have implications for housing supply generally.

“After many decades spent trying to encourage institutional investment into this sector, progress is now being made, and any proposals must not deter potential investment. We must ensure housing policies lead to an increase in supply and the associated social and economic benefits building more homes will deliver.”

Meanwhile, institutional stockbroking group Westhouse Securities said that the Labour leader’s announcement yesterday emphasises how housing is becoming a hot political topic, which can only keep the issue volatile.

“Labour’s announcement [yesterday] of potentially far-reaching rent and landlord controls in the buy-to-let sector emphasises the political minefield that the housing sector is developing into, with the Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems and Bank of England (BoE) Governor, Mark Carney all pulling in different directions,” said Alastair Stewart, analyst with the firm.

“This comes at a time when speculation is emerging again about the London market topping out. We believe the level of noise will continue to rise, adding to further volatility among housing-related stocks.

“In the medium term we believe the wider UK housing market has enough momentum for the next two years or so, largely because of Help to Buy (which in the long term could end painfully). In the short term, however, we think volatility will increase”

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