The average age of a British first time buyer is now 46 years old. Property ownership gives people a stake in the society they live in. So it is right and proper that the government should provide latitude for those intending to step onto the property ladder, particularly for the first time. We also recognise that kickstarting the housing marking is a pretext for generating jobs, liquidity and economic ‘feel good’ factor.
However, from the outset UKIP has been adamant that the scheme should not simply facilitate lending to meet demand, but responsible lending to those who have the ability to repay. In a free market, it is not the governments’ function to curtail house price rises, but it is to curb avenues to relentless human hardship and suffering caused by homelessness.
Today, our country is on the verge of a mammoth housing crisis stemming from the ‘casino economics’ of misconceived risk calculations leading to erratic market fluctuations. Added to which, our island has been the subject of unprecedented immigration which has accentuated demand to an extent that house and rental prices can only keep surging. We therefore have to have the courage to call for tougher immigration controls.
And we at UKIP know that the only way to achieve this is by withdrawing from the European Union and taking proper control of our borders. The variable of immigration has made it impossible for us to plan or estimate future housing demand.
UK house prices are anticipated to grow by at least 23% in the next five years. Naturally, incomes will not be able to keep pace with this. Inevitably, this will lead to one of 3 possibilities;
- An artificially inflated property market
- A shift from ownership to rental culture, consistent with other EU countries
- Or, a housing market dominated by the mega players with ordinary British families being priced out of the prospect of owning their own home.
All three circumstances we consider undesirable. We believe that housing market stability cannot be achieved by chasing constantly moving supply targets. UKIP distinguishes itself from the LibLabCon in its willingness to address the demand. And we would do so by;
- a) Decisively controlling immigration
- b) Introducing Medium hold tenancies of 3 to 10 years. Giving people a middle option between renting and outright ownership.
- c) Safeguard those vulnerable to a resurgent demand. Particularly, the disabled, the homeless and, as has been proven, military personnel return to our country after active service.
David Cameron, may be right in saying that 75 families per day are being put on the path to their “dream home”, but our concern is that those same families are not being springboarded into the trap of purchasing properties which in years to come they will struggle to repay once interest rates have started to rise again. In which case, the only people to substantially benefit from the ‘Help to Buy Scheme’ will be the major house builders and developers.
Moreover, the coalition may be whetting their appetite at the prospect of engineering economic confidence through a leap in house prices in time for the forthcoming European elections. However, let them be reminded that UKIP will not step aside whilst planning frameworks are relaxed to the detriment of the beautiful British countryside, the best in the world. UKIP will vehemently oppose any attempts to use rapidly increasing house prices as a smokescreen to promoting profit before quality of life, thus irreversibly altering what generations before us have steadfastly preserved.