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Peer2Peer Finance News | December 17, 2017

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Budget: Assetz investors call for housebuilding reforms

Budget: Assetz investors call for housebuilding reforms
Suzie Neuwirth

ASSETZ Capital’s investors want to see the issue of affordable housing addressed in this week’s Budget.

The secured business and property peer-to-peer lender surveyed over 850 of its investors for the Assetz Capital Investor Barometer, released on Tuesday.

It found that 31 per cent of respondents are calling for government support and legislation to enable local authorities to push through the building of more affordable housing.

And an overwhelming 72 per cent of investors said that they would strongly support local authorities in carrying out compulsory purchase orders (CPO) for land directly next to towns and villages, and being funded to do so.

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However, a quarter of those that support the initiative stressed that it must not be at the expense of green belt land.

“This is a clear indication from our investors that housebuilding should be the government’s number one priority in this Budget,” said Stuart Law, chief executive at Assetz Capital.

“There is growing pressure from the Conservative party members, led in many ways by Sajid Javid, to implement new policies that could radically improve housing supply, but whether these ideas get through Phillip Hammond into the Budget is anyone’s guess at present, although the weekend’s press suggests he is finally considering listening.”

Read more: SMEs doubt Budget will meet their needs

Law went on to call for a change to the laws surrounding CPOs so that purchase prices could be reduced in order to boost house building.

“This is a real opportunity to deliver some progressive housing policies involving local authorities that would give the government a much-needed boost at a time when Brexit is threatening to tear the Conservatives apart,” he said. “We – and our investors – urge the government to bring something new to the table on housebuilding in this Budget.”

The survey also showed that 24 per cent of investors thought that income tax reductions for lower earners was the most important issue that needed to be addressed in the Budget, while 10 per cent said they most wanted to see stamp duty reduced for first-time buyers.

Assetz Capital is not the only P2P property lender to urge for housebuilding reforms ahead of Wednesday’s fiscal event. Relendex and Lendy are among the firms that have called on the government to make changes to address the housing crisis.