Lunchtime news 6 August 2023

A report out today by the National Federation of Housing shows that the housing boom is showing no long-term sign of slowing down. The report states that come 2012, housing in London will have increased 40 per cent pushing the average cost of a house in London to almost £500,000 while the average cost in the UK will be more than £300,000. Over the past 10 years, house prices have risen 156 per cent compared to a rise of 35 per cent for income.

The Benefit Fraud Inspectorate (BFI) have visited 19 of London’s 33 councils, after the Treasury became concerned over the soaring cost of temporary accommodation, which has more than doubled throughout the UK in past three years to £539 million. Payments made for procuring temporary accommodation in the private sector have been looked at as it is believed that councils may be inflating the amounts they claim, to the maximum housing benefit cap level.

The Conservatives accused the governement of generating £70 million extra in a ‘stealth tax on housing’ with the introduction of HIPs and energy performance certificates. With the extension of the regulations planned to include smaller homes and rental proerties in the next year, the opposition believe that VAT receipts for these transcations will total at least £70 million each year.

The Homelessness World Cup was held over the weekend, and some good footballing news at last is that Scotland won it. Beating Poland by nine goals to three, Scotland played before a capacity crowd in a Copenhagen city square. Next year the cup will be held in Melbourne, Australia.

The Mayor of London has rejected Hammersmith and Fulham council’s proposals to reduce its affordable housing targets from 65 per cent to 40 per cent.

The Times reports that a 93-year-old man who took out a 17,000 loan nine years ago from Barclays has seen his debt soar to £116,000.

An Ipsos Mori poll of 2000 people across the UK, published in the Guardian, has found that six out of 10 people believe buy-to-let reduces the amount of affordable housing for those wanting to buy.