Housing policy remains in limbo

The coalition’s document on how it will govern contains some interesting pointers on the future of the financial services industry but is notably weak in the areas of housing and housing finance, says Philip Tebbatt

Potential changes to Stamp Duty are merely to be the subject of yet another review.

Otherwise, there are vague promises to explore the idea of bringing empty homes into use and the promotion of shared ownership schemes. The most amusing suggestion, not least because it sounds so twee, is the Home on the Farm (our rulers’ capital letters, not mine) scheme to encourage farmers to convert farm buildings into affordable homes. I’m not sure this policy will get a ringing endorsement in the Tory shires.

Whichever way you look at it there will be wholesale changes that will affect our industry.

But of course, the first bit of the document I looked for – and the part that is painfully conspicuous by its absence – is the Tory manifesto commitment regarding getting shot of the Financial Services Authority. It seems that this distinguished body is to be with us for some time yet.
Philip Tebbatt is principal of niche financial services law company Slater-Rhodes and can be contacted at philip.tebbatt@slater-rhodes.com