Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Whitehall makes it more expensive to move – as house sales plummet

New figures expose collapse in housing market across (area) thanks to Government

Giles McNeill today published new figures showing the extent of the collapse in the housing market across West Lindsey. This comes as new Government red tape will push up the cost of moving home – in the middle of a recession.

• Parliamentary Questions have revealed that across the country the number of housing sales in 2008 halved compared to 2006 levels. The latest national figures so far for 2009 show even sharper falls have happened this year. In West Lindsey, there were 1,296 housing sales in 2008, compared to 2,343 in 2006 – a fall of 45%.

• Yet new Whitehall rules will make it even harder for home buyers and sellers. The Government’s Land Registry is hiking fees in July to register a new home or to buy an official property search. Ironically, the Land Registry are blaming the recession for forcing them to put up prices as housing transactions have fallen so much, cutting their income.

• The increases in the costs of official searches will in turn increase the cost of the already expensive Home Information Packs (HIPs). This comes as new HIP rules came into effect in April which will further hinder sellers from putting their homes onto the market.

• Conservatives are calling on the Government Ministers to use their emergency powers to suspend HIPs immediately, and then abolish them completely. They are also calling for the stamp duty threshold for first-time buyers to be raised to £250,000, taking 9 out of 10 first-time buyers out of stamp duty altogether, giving an important boost to West Lindsey housing market.

Giles said:
“The new figures expose how Gordon Brown’s recession has sent West Lindsey's housing market into freefall. It is incredibly short-sighted for Labour Ministers to increase red tape on the housing market in the middle of a recession and make it even worse.

“We need action to revive the market, by reducing moving costs for home owners and giving extra help to help first-time buyers get onto the housing ladder.”

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