Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Memoranda

Memorandum by National Association of Estate Agents (AFH 39)

   The general consensus of opinion is that the Association, through its members, is not sufficiently knowledgeable to comment on the majority of the bullet points outlined within the press notice on this subject.

  Issues surrounding the provision of affordable housing and matters such as demand and the procedures supporting the creation of affordable housing schemes is not one in which our members have a direct interest or involvement.

  The Association's members who are primarily involved in providing estate agency services within the owner occupied sector well recognise that in light of present levels of house price inflation and also the increased demand by investors in purchasing homes under Buy to Rent initiatives, it is making it extremely difficult for young first time buyers to obtain a first step on the housing ladder.

  Clearly, the conditions that are prevalent at the moment are caused by the issue of supply and demand and perhaps also by the lower level of new homes being constructed. This may be due to a wide range of circumstances, including planning directives geared towards development of brown-field sites rather than green-field sites and also the issue of planning gain, which may be causing a log jam in the approval mechanism.

  Affordable housing has to be targeted at individuals within the community who cannot through their own efforts obtain housing accommodation either within the private rented or owner occupied sectors. Circumstances which might act as barriers, particularly to young people, clearly involve their ability to find sustainable employment and salaries that enable them to support a mortgage assuming that they are in a position to have been able to save for a minimum deposit to put down on a home.

  With the exception of these very general comments we feel unable to submit formal answers to the range of questions asked.

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