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Posted on May 7th 2015 by admin-movingin

Labour’s housing policies pose danger for market warns Zoopla

A Labour-led government would likely hit home owners with a combination of falling house prices and rising interest rates, Zoopla has said.

It warned that a drop in house prices could have a significant knock-on effect on the wider economy with lower consumer spending.

Property prices have risen 9.7% on average across the country over the past five years, and Zoopla said “a continuation of the current coalition would likely result in the continued recovery in the housing market”.

It went on: “However, Ed Miliband’s housing market policies, whether by design or accident, will make UK property generally a less attractive investment.

“It will appear less attractive to owners as a result of proposed new property taxes, less attractive to landlords and investors as a result of proposed new rent controls and less attractive to first-time buyers and lenders as a result of proposed changes to current government support schemes.

“The follow-on impact of falling house prices and lower consumer spending to the overall economy could be significant.”

Lawrence Hall of Zoopla said: There is no question that there are issues to be resolved in the UK property market, including a possible tax on unoccupied residences, an update to council tax bands, and clamping down on rogue landlords.

“The most important way to solve the UK’s housing issues is to build more homes – not destroy the value of those already built.

“The proposed mansion tax is a great example of a good political soundbite but a poor policy.

“It started out as an idea to tax billionaire non-dom property owners and has turned into a proposed tax on working British families.

“UK home owners already pay the highest property taxes in the developed world, so the introduction of any new tax would be value destructive to the entire UK property market.

“But using a sledgehammer to crack some of these walnuts by further taxing working Brits’ primary residences and imposing controls on all landlords and tenants is dangerous to the health of the overall housing market.

“And this isn’t the only Labour proposal that would have damaging repercussions for the housing market. Rent controls threaten to upset the apple cart in the lettings market.

“The more red tape that is introduced, the more people will be dissuaded from investing in property, a key aspiration for working Britons.”

* Separately, a panel debate hosted by agents Andrews agreed that housing policy should be in independent hands, outside politics.

Chief executive Michael Robson said that housing policy could be handled by an independent body, much as monetary policy is handled independently by the Bank of England.