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Which Party is best for the Housing Market?

The race is on for your vote and all parties will tell you what you want to hear if they think that it will persuade you to put an X next to them on the ballot sheet.  Recent polls, if they can be believed, suggest that this is going to be a close one, but how do their manifestos match up to the needs of the various factions in the property market?

What is fact is that whoever gets the baton will be inheriting a record national debt and an ailing economy.  The average home cost just £77,531 when Labour came to power in 1997.  Despite big price falls in 2008, it now stands at £170,000 - an increase of 140%.  Good news for homeowners, but devastating for first-time buyers.  In 1997, the number of owner-occupiers was on the rise but thanks to an explosion in the buy-to-let sector the number of people who own the property in which they live is down to its lowest figure since 1991, with 3 million people living in privately rented accommodation.


The party says it wants to build on what it calls its "impressive decade of housing".  Other policies include:


  • £500m allocated for 8,000 affordable homes, which should be available for shared ownership and rent
  • 5% stamp duty on homes worth over £1m
  • 10,000 affordable homes a year by 2014
  • New homes to be zero carbon by 2016
  • Quangos to identity areas for new homes to be built
  • Will extend the Home Information Pack (HIP) by adding a compulsory survey to it



The Tories have promised to scrap HIPs and currently have TV property guru, Kirstie Allsop, working on a different system to make the buying and selling process easier.  Also on offer from the blue corner:


  • Permanent holiday on stamp duty for first-time buyers on properties priced at £250,000 and below
  • Reduce the number of quangos
  • Scrap large-scale regional housing plans, replacing them with local initiatives
  • Expand the self-build sector
  • End suburban home garden grabbing by developers
  • 10% equity share for good council tenants


Liberal Democrat

The Lib Dems have pledged to provide more homes for local people by increasing the power of local councils to control second homes and promote affordable housing schemes.  Other promises include:


  • The building of tens of thousands of affordable homes
  • Bringing 250,000 empty homes back into use by giving owners cheap loans to renovate them
  • The creation of safe-start mortgages to protect owners from negative equity and repossession
  • Like the Tories, they will scrap regional housing targets and devolve planning powers to towns and neighbourhoods
  • As with Labour, the Lib Dems have pledged to make Britains homes warmer and more energy efficient

So who's got the best policies for you? Who's lying, who's telling the truth, and can any of them be trusted to carry out these policies?  You decide.