–– A new All-Party Parliamentary Group for housing and planning comprising MPs and peers has been set up to examine ways of tackling the housing crisis. The group will consider increasing the housing stock for both rental and private ownership, plus speeding up the building of sustainable homes in the UK, which now faces an annual shortfall of 130,000 homes.
–– A year after the launch of the Mayor’s flagship London Rental Standard only 14,350 of London’s more than 100,000 private landlords have signed up – well short of the initial target of 100,000 when the voluntary scheme was launched.
–– More than 25,000 individuals have signed up to an online petition calling on the Chancellor to reverse proposals announced in the Summer Budget to restrict the tax relief landlords can claim on property finance costs to the basic rate of income tax. The petition will remain open until 27 January 2016.
–– The Government has refused to confirm or deny claims that it is preparing to launch a new wave of permitted development changes which would broaden the 2013 temporary office-to-residential changes to remove exemption zones and include the demolition and replacement of existing buildings. The current permitted development rights are due to end in May 2016.
–– According to GLA data, at least 2,639 office-to-residential prior approval applications were received by London boroughs between May 2013 and April 2015. Around 39% of approved applications involved occupied offices.
–– Research from publisher Bloomsbury Professional suggests the majority of accountants still believe the stamp duty regime on residential properties is unfair, despite recent reforms. Almost a quarter (22%) of those surveyed argued stamp duty ought to be set locally.
––More than 25,000 homes could be built on London’s wharves, according to new research from planning consultancy Daniel Watney LLP. Wharf safeguarding was introduced as part of the Thames Strategy in 1995 to protect commercial wharves in London from change of use, under the assumption that demand for wharf trade would continue to grow. However, demand fell by 29% between 2001 and 2010 and many are now unused.
Nick Barnes (NB), Head of Research at Chestertons: Our thoughts now begin to turn to the Autumn Statement on 25 November and what the Chancellor might have in store for us. Buy-to-Let landlords and purchasers of high-value residential property are no doubt hoping for a rethink on mortgage interest relief and stamp duty changes – if only!