View more on these topics

Labour to halve Right to Buy discounts

John Prescott will this week announce plans to halve the Right to Buy discounts available to council tenants in property hotspots.

The government hopes that curbing the scheme will help address the lack of affordable housing available to key workers, as tenants who have bought their homes often sell them to property companies who in turn sell them on for profit.

A spokeswoman for the office of the Deputy Prime Minister says: “Modernisation plans have been put together and this has been talked about for some time now.”

Councils in the South-East have experienced panic buying from tenants trying to buy before the restrictions are imposed. Over 1.7 million homes have been sold to tenants since the Right to Buy was implemented by Margaret Thatcher.

Tenants currently qualify for discounts of up to £22,000 in the North-East and up to £38,000 in the South-East. The latter will be cut to £20,000.

Stuart Aitken, director of credit at Right to Buy lender SPML, believes the move will have little effect on the social housing problem. He says: “A monetary figure seems arbitrary, given that it will be worth next to nothing on some properties. This looks like a targeted limitation, reducing the money that councils will give away but doing little to reduce the attrition of social housing. It will not have much impact on the Right to Buy market.”

Kevin Morgan, managing director of Hitchin-based EZI UK, adds: “Those who wanted to sell have already sold. The money saved will not necessarily be put back into social housing. The government should be proactive, not punitive, against perceived carpetbaggers.”


EU tackling financial services too fast, say investment firms

The 2005 target date for implementation of the EU Financial Services Action Plan should be set aside to ensure full consultation with Europe&#39s finance sector, says the Association of Private Client Investment Managers and Stockbrokers. APCIMS says the blueprint for harmonising the EU&#39s financial services will cause “significant problems and costs” to markets and investment […]

Estate agency website on the lookout for brokers

An estate agency website is looking for more mortgage brokers to join its lead generation scheme.The national website, based in Bromley, allows potential housebuyers to register on the site, which then passes on their details to local estate agents, saving repeat visits.The site also sends these leads to 120 financial advisers, based in every […]

Demand for commercial property expected to slow

Demand for commercial property rose in the second half of 2002, but is expected to slow over the first half of 2003. A report by the Confederation of British Industry and property advisers GVA Grimley shows 27% of companies increased property holdings over the past six months, while just 14% decreased them. This gives a […]

FSA crackdown on misleading ads

The FSA is calling on consumers to help it police a crackdown on misleading financial advertising. Consumers are being asked to send examples of bad promotional materials to the regulator, which has published a guide to the advertising rules on its website. Firms are responsible for ensuring their promotions meet the &#39clear, fair and not […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up