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Inquiry into the economics of the UK housing market launches

3 November 2015

The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee launches a new inquiry into the economics of the UK housing market. The Committee investigates the supply and affordability of housing across the housing market and reviews the effectiveness of the Government's policies to provide low cost housing to rent and to buy.

Focus of the inquiry

The Committee has published a Call for Evidence and is inviting written submissions to arrive no later than 17 December 2015.

Areas the Committee are inviting evidence on include:

  • How can we increase the supply of reasonably priced private housing in the UK?
  • How effective have Government schemes such as Help to Buy been in improving the affordability of housing?
  • Are there tax measures that could improve housing supply and affordability? What impact will the proposed changes to inheritance tax have on housing supply?
  • Have the 2014 reforms to Stamp Duty had an impact? Should there be further reform to Stamp Duty?
  • Are changes to the planning system needed to increase the availability of low cost housing?
  • How can we improve the availability of low cost private rental properties? Will the current trend for a decline in home ownership and rise in private rental continue and is it desirable?
  • Is there a case for restricting rent increases in the private sector?
  • Are new measures needed to increase the supply of social housing?

Lord Hollick, Chairman of the Committee, comments:

"There are clearly serious issues with the UK housing market. Across the country, young people in particular are struggling with the cost of housing, whether they are looking to buy or rent. There is an affordability crisis in housing.

"We feel the time is now right for a thorough evidence based assessment of the economics of the housing market. We would like to get to the bottom of the affordability crises. Is the primary cause a lack of supply? What effect have recent Government initiatives to encourage first time buyers had? Or is there too much emphasis on owning your own home, should we be focusing efforts on ensuring adequate affordable housing is available for rent?

"Our inquiry will rely on the evidence we receive and we would particularly like to hear from people who are struggling with the cost of housing. I would invite anyone interested in this area to send us their evidence by the 17 December so they can contribute to our inquiry and help us find the some answers to the urgent housing challenge our country faces."

Further information

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