With the 2015 Election quickly approaching, it’s time to start thinking through what each party has to offer in exchange for your vote. One area that a lot of people are concerned about is how the results of the election will affect their home, so here’s our run-down of the property promises being made by the ‘Big Three’.
Stamp Duty: The coalition claims that its recent stamp duty changes will save 98 per cent of homeowners money, with only people buying a property worth more than £937,000 paying more, and now Labour have also added stamp duty changes to their manifesto.
If Ed Milliband wins the election on 7th May 2015 he has pledged to remove stamp duty for first-time buyers on properties in England, Wales and Northern Ireland worth less than £300,000.
Mansion tax: A policy backed by both Labour and the Liberal Democrats, the new ‘mansion tax’ would apply to homes worth more than £2million. Labour has pledged to use the additional income, which has been estimated at around £1.2 billion, to secure the future of the NHS, while the Lib Dems say the result of implementing mansion tax would be a significantly reduced deficit.
The Conservatives are not keen, however, and have expressed concern that the introduction of such a tax would be a serious threat to the UK economy and scare away investors.
New Homes: Each party seems committed to building new homes to address the growing housing shortage, with Labour pledging 200,000 new homes each year by 2020 and the Lib Dems promising 300,000 new energy efficient homes each year.
The Conservatives are also pledging new homes, with 200,000 new properties in England that will be made available solely to first-time buyers under the age of 40 over the next five years.
Best of the rest:
Conservatives – With television programmes like Grand Designs and Building the Dream raising the profile of self-build properties, the Conservatives have pledged to double the number of custom-built and self-build homes by 2020. They will also take forward Right to Build, requiring councils to allocate land to local people to build or commission their own home.
Labour – Empty properties are seen as a significant problem in some areas, especially those where demand for property is high. Labour has vowed to address this problem by giving local authorities powers to charge higher council tax on properties that are empty long-term. Ed Milliband is also keen not to neglect renters and has pledged to make three-year tenancies an industry standard.
Lib Dems – One of Nick Clegg’s biggest headline grabbing policies for the 2015 election has been Rent to Own; a new scheme that would allow first-time buyers to steadily build up a share in their home through monthly payments. At the end of a 30 year term they would then own their home outright.
He has also pledged to reform the coalition’s controversial Bedroom Tax scheme, and has assured voters that with him as PM a reduction in benefits would only occur if the occupants are offered a smaller property and turned it down.
Danny Luke, Business Manager at Quick Move Now, commented:
There have been several attempts since the house price crash to control the housing market through taxation. Unfortunately these policies are generally futile and do little to effect demand and supply and I would expect the same from the proposed stamp duty changes.
The UK is a wealthy country with growing number of people aspiring to own a property, however with average build volumes of just 142,000 a year during this parliament we are a long way from meeting the countries’ needs.
The only solution to a more stable and fair property market is to build a lot more houses…. All the parties are promising to deliver over 200,000 homes a year but they aren’t the first to do that and then fail… Will the new prime minister have to apologise for not meeting his house building commitments in 5 years’ time-we will have to wait and see.