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Labour would allow councils to ban buy-to-let on new homes

Labour would hand local councils the power to ban the sale of new-build homes for buy-to-let if it wins the next election.

Unveiling Sir Michael Lyon’s report into housing today, leader Ed Miliband said housing would play a “bigger role” under Labour.

Under Miliband’s plan councils could designate “housing growth areas” where specific rules and targets can be imposed on new homes to ensure developments benefit communities.

The report says it will allow councils to stop homes being sold for buy-to-let or if they are going to be left empty.

Instead it will hand councils the power to reserve a proportion of homes – such as 50 per cent – for first-time buyers for a period of two months.

The plan commits Labour to building 200,000 homes a year by 2020 alongside a target for doubling the number of first-time buyers over the next decade.

Miliband says: “We will make sure communities get the benefit from new home development by guaranteeing that where communities take the lead in bringing forward additional developments, a significant proportion of homes on those sites cannot be bought by anyone before first-time buyers from the area have been given the chance.

“This is not only a fairer system, it is also one which will encourage local communities and local authorities to support the development that our country so desperately needs.”


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There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Dear Labour. If you stop landlords buying houses to rent out, where are all those tenants going to live that cant get mortgages to buy their own house? You seem to forget that without the private landlord, the state would have a much bigger housing issue on its hands, or should that be homeless issue on its hands.

  2. Lets look good to gain the votes, whilst further reducing the nations entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs, you know the 20% that already pay 80% of the tax bill to support the nation.

    So, in Newport a new 1000 houses are being built, 40% are to be council houses. So Labours plan is to put further strain on council budgets instead of letting the private sector do a far better job than they can. London based thinking yet again. I would suggest you speak to your partners, the builders, as they will tell you there are not enough first time buyers, so they will just not build as many houses.

  3. The solution to buy-to-let landlords buying houses that one would prefer to be sold to first time buyers et al is to allow the supply of new housing to expand to accommodate the buy to let investors.

    Artificially restricting demand has potentially two side effects: reduced quality rentals (and so reduced labour mobility) or BTL landlords simply buying existing properties (and so impacting supply and prices there).

    Ultimately, there needs to be a significant loosening of planning restrictions to allow far more houses to be built. At some point, someone is going to notice that the existing housing stock is aging – If we carry on at current rates, it means that each existing house will have to stand for about a thousand years.

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