Osborne’s plans for housing won’t work, say almost 6 in 10 property professionals

Most property professionals are unhappy with the Autumn Statement, with more than half (57%) stating that it will have a negative impact on the industry.

Destroying confidence in the market, setting unachievable building targets, and constraining the supply of rental property were all cited.

The findings are in a survey of 570 property professionals by specialist recruitment firm Deverell Smith.

Even the majority of the 21% who believe the measures will have an overall positive impact take the view that to create an affordable market means that other areas will take a hit.

According to Deverell Smith’s research, just under two thirds (66%) do not think the house building targets are achievable, while 58% think the 3% Stamp Duty surcharge for buy-to-let purchasers will constrain the supply of rental property.

The biggest cause for concern among the majority is the long-term effect this will have on the private, smaller landlord and whether it will force them out of the market, paving the way for the institutional landlord, who in turn will offer a more expensive product to tenants.

Many of those surveyed felt this tax increase would have a positive impact on existing landlords as the constrained supply will increase rents, but that it is not a measure to help tenants who will feel the burden of this tax increase.

Andrew Deverell-Smith said: “With property playing such a vital role in our economic growth and the welfare of our society, it is understandable that it is a big focus in George Osborne’s latest plans.

“These opinions are from leading property industry experts who know and understand the market, and this highlights that there is a gap between expert industry estimations and government strategy.”

He added: “There are so many facets to the industry, that a change in one area will always impact another. There is clearly no silver bullet.

“As a property recruiter, we know first-hand not only of the shortage in construction workers but the project managers, planning and surveyors required to deliver these ambitious housing programmes.”

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