To great fanfare, Prime Minister Theresa May last week announced plans to help a further 135,000 people onto the property ladder.
How? By pumping an additional £10 billion into the Government’s Help to Buy (HTB) scheme.
You might think that move would have been widely cheered but, instead, a whopping 88% of people responding to a poll on loveMONEY.com opposed it.
It’s simple economics
While any attempt to ease our housing crisis is obviously welcome, it’s the way the Conservatives are going about it that is raising ire.
As has been written many, many times before, our housing problem is not down to a lack of demand.
“It’s really simple: if the issue is supply and there are not enough homes being built then handing money to the struggling would-be buyers does nothing except increase the demand and support the high prices.”
We wrote that back in spring when criticising the Help to Buy ISA, but it remains every bit as valid in relation to the Prime Minister’s latest announcement.
And, as loveMONEY writer Felicity Hannah highlighted in her brilliant opinion piece last week, “the current system is lining the homebuilder’s pockets, enriching existing homeowners by boosting their property values and doing nothing for the housing security of poorer households.”
“Extending it makes no sense and I can’t understand why the Tories can’t see that."
She also claimed that the best way to help is to build more social and affordable housing.
“If we boost supply then that will ease demand and prices will stop rising – in fact, they may even fall.
“More renters will be able to secure social housing, and enjoy the stability and security that everyone deserves.”
It’s a powerful argument – and one which many seem to agree with.
Helping a child buy a property? Read this first