Wednesday, 3 September 2008

All the fun of the fair market

The government's latest housing market plans haven't gone down too well. From the Telegraph calling it a symbolic gesture to others, like the Times, saying it was overshadowed by a recession warning from the OECD, they've hardly been a hit.

The department for Communities and Local Government issued a press release entitled "Ensuring a fair housing market for all", which seems a bit fanciful. What I don't get is this: if giving help (like a stamp duty holiday and equity loans) to first time buyers will help support the housing market, how does that help first time buyers? Surely price falls are the best way to help them?

The other heavily-spun measure is
£100m investment to support SMI [Support for Mortgage Interest] reform which could help prevent a further 10,000 repossessions
This raises the question that if helping people earlier who are struggling to pay their mortgages can prevent repossessions, why didn't the government do it earlier? There's also the usual Brown spin in preventing what is essentially an extended welfare benefit as "investment to support reform".

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