Communities Secretary Sajid Javid launches a call for evidence on making the home buying process cheaper, faster and less stressful for those involved.
The government wants to hear from everyone with an interest in home buying including estate agents, solicitors and mortgage lenders and ensuring that it address issues across the whole sector, from ways to tackle gazumping and reduce time wasting to increase commitment to a sale.
Views will be taken gazumping, with sellers accepting a higher offer from a new buyer, and will look at ways this could be tackled.
Mistrust between parties is one of the biggest issues faced, we want to look at schemes including ‘lock-in agreements’.
Although 1 million homes are bought and sold in England each year, around a quarter of sales fall through and hundreds of millions of pounds are wasted, the government wants to increase confidence in the housing chain.
It also wants to provide better guidance for buyers and sellers, by encouraging them to gather more information in advance so homes are ‘sale ready’ as well as looking for for innovative digital solutions including making more data available online.
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said:
We want to help everyone have a good quality home they can afford, and improving the process of buying and selling is part of delivering that. Buying a home is one of life’s largest investments, so if it goes wrong it can be costly. That’s why we’re determined to take action to make the process cheaper, faster and less stressful.
This can help save people money and time so they can focus on what matters – finding their dream home. I want to hear from the industry on what more we can do to tackle this issue.
Today’s announcement will build on recent proposals to cut out abuses of leasehold, protections for renters and a crackdown on unfair managing agents, now we are looking at modernising the home buying process.
The Housing White Paper set out plans to fix the broken housing market, getting the right homes built in the right places and measures to improve affordability and protections for renters and home purchasers.
Responding to the announcement, John Healey MP, Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary, said:
“Another week and another call for evidence on failings in the housing market, but these feeble proposals show that Ministers just don’t get the scale of the problems facing homebuyers.
“This smacks of a political diversion from the hard facts of the Tories’ housing record. Home-ownership is at a thirty year low and the number of younger home-owners is in freefall, but Ministers can only come up with a ‘call for evidence’ on improving the home-buying process.
“Compare the Tories’ feeble gesture to Labour’s plans – 100,000 discounted homes for first-time buyers, a cut in stamp duty, first dibs on new homes for local people and new protections for home-owners.
“This is a government out of touch and out of ideas. Conservatives know housing was a big part of why they did so badly at the election but after seven years of failure Ministers still have no plan to fix the housing crisis.”