I assume this is more about London than anywhere else in the country. Even so, one has to wonder how it can possibly help deliver a single, genuinely affordable dwelling within the M25, for an ordinary working person, or family.
Taking highly expensive scarce housing out of wealthy foreign hands and placing into the welcoming arms of our domestic rich list, seems like another form of gerrymandering. In this case, R.A. ther than manipulating electoral boundaries for political advantage, this could be seen as the manipulation of financial boundaries for political purposes.
How this will ensure that those needing to live in London in order to work, is a mystery and can only create more work for those lawyers expert in international property law.
intriguing comments by Luke Hall MP at the end of the article. Given his relatively youth and inexperience as an MP, one can only assume that he has either personal experience, or received significant constituency pressure in this respect.
The watered down version now in place, doesn’t seem especially effective at addressing the issue of the many thousands of empty dwellings across the country. Many of these are in some of the more high demand areas and attempts to prise them out of the hands of absent owners, or uncommunicative lawyers, is frustrating, time consuming and expensive.
Given the limited resources of the majority of councils and the likelihood that there will be more than enough longterm empty propertiesto be dealt with, Luke Hall appears to be making a great deal of noise about issues that would simply never arise.
Copied from Sunday Telegraph 24 September 2017
By Ben Riley-Smith
FOREIGN buyers will face tougher restrictions on purchasing British property under Treasury plans to help first-time buyers.
Polices could be announced within weeks as getting younger people on to the housing ladder becomes a major part of the Conservatives’ autumn political drive.
“There’s an issue in London with a large proportion of new-build flats being purchased off plan by, particularly, Far Eastern buyers: China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia,” a Whitehall source said.
“They are bought when the flats are still under construction, meaning first-time buyers don’t get a look-in. That is not just in central London, but in the suburbs and other cities such as Manchester.”
Number 10 and Treasury officials will discuss housing policy this week ahead of the Conservative Party conference in the first week of October and the Budget in November.
Other ideas in the running include accelerating the sale of government-owned land and easing the rules on building on brownfield sites to help boost supply.
Some Whitehall figures also back more borrowing to invest in housing. Sajid Javid, the Communities Secretary, has previously supported the move in public – though the Treasury is concerned about cost.
Theresa May wants her domestic policy agenda to dominate the party conference after delivering her speech in Florence on leaving the EU. Sources involved in the preparations said that housing is likely to become a big theme of the coming weeks as the Tories look to win back younger voters who backed Jeremy Corbyn in June.
Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, told Tory MPs at the 1922 Committee recently that he wanted to address the difficulty faced by first-time buyers.
He called for ideas to be submitted for the November Budget and – alongside student debt – identified it as an area the Tories must tackle to win back young voters. An ally of the Chancellor said he feared people in their twenties and thirties were being “left behind economically” and therefore “punished” the Tories, as the governing party, at the election.
Ministers have already announced “accelerated” plans for selling off Government land for housing, but some Tories feel that more could be done.
Land around railways, owned by the Ministry of Defence or part of the NHS estate is especially being considered by Treasury officials.
The developments come as the Conservatives launched an attack on a little-known Labour policy announced in its housing manifesto during the election.
Labour pledged to restore Empty Dwelling Management Orders – a controversial policy introduced by New Labour in 2006 but watered down by the Tories – to its full strength.
The change would empower councils to take over private homes that have been left empty for six months, rather than two years.
Luke Hall, the Tory MP for Thornbury and Yate, warned: “The return of John Prescott’s bullying powers would mean town hall bureaucrats seizing everyday homes in streets across the country, including those of recently deceased.
“Labour’s hard-Left agenda would entail widespread state confiscation of private property, targeting the elderly and the families.”