More Affordable Housing
Gordon Brown has extended this promise with a familiar ring that was simply not delivered under Mr Blair. He intends to succeed where his predecessor failed by liberalising the planning system to force through projects such as the Millennium Communities Programme. Mr Brown announced on the BBC's Sunday AM show that he planned to increase the number of houses being built from 160, 000 to 200, 000 per year. Although this policy would undoubtedly have some sort of impact, whether this will actually lower house prices or make it significantly easier for first time buyers to get on the market, remains to be seen. However, opposition is likely to be stiff from organizations such as the Campaign for Rural England and the National Trust who intend to muster public support to force another government climb down.
Has anybody told Mr Brown that there is currently an estimated 420,000 properties standing empty in a state of disrepair. Couldn't these be used as part of the solution to the great British property shortage?
Long-Term Fixed-Rate Mortgages
Interest rate rises are a subject close to any mortgage-payer's heart particularly the ones that have finished, or are about to finish, their fixed-rate terms. About 750,000 people are now contemplating an increase of roughly a third in their mortgage repayments as their fixed-rate period of two years comes to an end. Enter the new PM; on Wednesday 11th July, Mr Brown and the new chancellor (Alistair Darling) unveiled proposals to boost the popularity of long-term, fixed mortgages, with the aim being to make the housing market less vulnerable to rate swings and make housing more affordable. This is what Mr Brown had to say on the subject;
"The Chancellor is also announcing today that he will consult on creating a new regime for 'covered bonds' which will help mortgage lenders finance more affordable 20 to 25 year fixed-rate mortgages - and he will report by the Budget on how to overcome other barriers preventing lenders from offering people long-term mortgages."
Good news? It probably is for the vast majority of us, but even if the government are as good as their word, it could take years for this to have any significant affect on the market.