Henry Pryor: “It’s not easy to see where the 20% property discounts are going to come from”

Henry Pryor - photo courtesy of thewealthscene.com

Henry Pryor - photo courtesy of thewealthscene.com - Credit: Archant

The BBC’s Hertfordshire-based property expert Henry Pryor gives the Herts Advertiser his take on David Cameron’s plans for property.

It made for a rousing send-off on the last day of the Conservatives conference but the Prime Minister’s remarks will make better copy than they will a solution to the housing crisis.

Changes proposed to allow house builders to provide homes to sell rather than to rent as part of the Section 106 agreements that they almost always have as part of the planning consent won’t build more homes, just make some more available to young, first time buyers.

Like Right to Buy and controversial Help to Buy the latest echoes of announcements first mooted over a year ago won’t make homes generally more affordable - loose credit is responsible for the stratospheric house prices.

It’s not easy to see where the 20 percent discounts are going to come from either. Will there be sub-standard homes built for buyers unable to afford proper homes? Will their green credentials be watered down? Will developers be expected to take the hit directly or will there be a reduction in taxes paid?

There are so many competing pressures behind calls to build more - 330,000 net migration last year, 1.8m families on social housing waiting lists, 409 buyers registered on the average estate agent’s books or 10 buyers for every home as some newspapers recently headlined. Whatever the true figures, homes have never been more expensive.

“If we built one million it might not be enough; so the next generation may well find that they need to find their own solutions. But it’s unlikely to involve the election of any political party campaigning on a promise to bring down house prices. Only Mr Market will deliver that.

Photograph courtesy of The Wealth Scene, from their interview with Henry Pryor earlier this year.