The first CPF discussion paper since the general election was well received. This explored the topic of housing and responses were submitted by CPF groups representing 119 constituencies and over 790 members across the country. A summary has been sent to the Minister for Communities & Local Government and, once the recently-appointed minister has been able to review and respond to this, his response will be distributed to all groups who participated in the discussion. Thank you to everyone who was involved.
Several ideas and themes were consistently raised by groups in response to the questions, as highlighted below:
- One-in-five groups (20 percent) called for reforms of stamp duty.
- Over half-a-dozen groups suggested the introduction of a Scottish system of house sales.
- Many associations mentioned that more could be done to make renting an attractive option.
- Almost one-in-five groups (17.9 percent) indicated that buy-to-let has contributed to house price rises.
- More than one-in five groups (20.8 percent) proposed imposing restrictions on second and holiday home ownership to ease supply.
- Almost as many again (17.0 percent) noted the upward impact that foreign investors have had on house prices.
- One-in-seven groups (14.2 percent) noted that student loans present a genuine barrier for many would-be first time buyers.
- More than a quarter of groups (25.5 percent) observed how travel costs and the inadequate provision of public transport reduce the viability of affordable first time buyer homes in rural areas.
- The same number of groups (25.5 percent) highlighted how large-scale immigration has pushed up demand for housing.
- Almost one-in-five groups (18.9 percent) expressed that there are too few opportunities for shared ownership.
- Many groups raised the issue of the greenbelt: marginally more (13.2 percent) advocated a review of the greenbelt than those (11.3 percent) who wanted to see it protected.
- Two-in-five CPF groups (40.6 percent) called for a release for development of unused brownfield sites owned by the Government and local authorities.
- One-in-three groups (32.1 percent) called for a review of developer-held land banks and sanctions to force developers to build on these within fixed time frames or else to face the compulsory purchase of the land.
- Over one-in-eight groups (12.3 percent) called for more encouragement of self-build housing.
- Almost two-in-three groups (64.9 percent) supported the idea of more practical instruction in managing personal finances at school, sixth form and university.
- Around one-in-eight (12.8 percent) had reservations, such as over the burden this might impose on teachers.
- Around one-in-five (22.3 percent) opposed such an idea outright, chiefly on the grounds that young people should learn the benefits and disadvantages of home ownership from their parents, not the “Nanny State”.
- Almost one-in-five groups (17.0 percent) insisted that infrastructure should be built as part of the original development, before the first residents move in.
- Two-out-of-three groups (67.0 percent) were in favour of or overwhelming supported measures such as those taken in London, beyond the basic “Lifetime Homes” standards, to increase further the availability of housing that is accessible and visitable by a larger proportion of the population and more easily adaptable for a wide range of use.
- Almost one-in-seven (13.6 percent) understood the need for such measures and recognised the long-term savings to be gained, but feared that additional regulation might result in yet higher immediate costs to buyers.
- Around one-in-five (19.3 percent) opposed such measures on the grounds of cost and it being a market issue.
Thank you again to everyone who participated in the discussion and to every group that submitted a summary of responses. We look forward to continuing the national conversation in the autumn.