Estate agent chain Winkworth has waded into the debate on how to fix the broken property market by calling for an end to infighting around housing delivery and the reinstatement of landlords’ mortgage interest relief.
On the eve of the Tory party conference, Winkworth’s chief executive Dominic Agace (main picture) told The Property Exchange podcast that the most acute structural problem was in the rental sector which had become caught up in electioneering.
“We are seeing rent rises in London of 15% this year, with 10% forecast next year,” he said.
“The lack of supply is caused by increased intervention by the government and tax changes.
"We are hearing stories of families squeezing into smaller properties because that’s all they can afford.
“We need people to be able to be where they need to live for work in a place that’s suitable for them and for the government to take some quick action and reverse the tax measures to encourage landlords.”
Agace (main picture) blamed infighting for disappearing housing targets and argued that local authorities had been hollowed out through a lack of investment, while complex legislation had prompted a longer planning process - all resulting in delays to home building.
Instead, the government should focus on building homes by providing more planning resources and making it easier for first-time buyers to move on by introducing incentives for downsizers, he said.
Adam Stackhouse (pictured), Winkworth’s MD of developments and commercial investments, told the podcast that a planning enforcement team would increase supply.
He said: “A joint team from the private and public sectors could be parachuted into local authorities to fix these problems, with a 90-day turnaround time, to look at planning applications stuck on the shelf.
"The government should deliver incentives that offer up a fair land value.”