Today’s unveiling of the Lib Dem manifesto is not something that will lead to many reading the thing I don’t suppose.
However if you are even remotely connected to the property industry you should certainly read page 81.
It proposes to add VAT to the price of all new build homes. That would increase the price of the average property to everyone, including the lesser spotted first time buyer, by £11,000.
Hardly a help. Hardly fair?
The impact upon affordable homes would be significant. A major contributor to such provision is the percentage of each major development that the building companies give to housing associations. If demand in the new build end of the housing market collapses, so will land purchase and values and therefore so will the supply of such deals to HA’s.
Is that fair to all those on the waiting lists for social rental properties across the UK?
I suspect that if this plan were ever put into place it would destroy the market, throw thousands of construction workers, lawyers, brokers and agents onto the dole, wipe £billions of the FTSE 250 and decimate the social housing sector in one foul swoop.
Together with their Mansion Tax, it doesn’t appear that the Liberal Democrats like houses very much.