Blick Rothenberg

Affordable housing is not affordable, say young professionals

20.11.2017

In the run up to what is tipped to be a ‘budget for the next generation’, Blick Rothenberg asked younger members of the firm what they thought the Chancellor should do to address the issues that concern them the most.

The deposit is the killer

Hayley Saunders, business group senior, said: ‘There should be more assistance for first time buyers, particularly with regards to the deposit. The current Help to Buy ISA appears to only be available for use to reduce mortgages, rather than contribute to a deposit. You can afford a mortgage, but the deposit is the killer.’
 
Jonathan Barratt, private client assistant, said, 'One of the main issues with the mortgage industry now is over-regulation. In order to avoid the mistakes of the 2008 credit crisis, providers are now incredibly stringent with mortgages meaning young people and first time buyers often need to save for the huge upfront cost of the deposit.
 
'Instead of giving money away upfront, which the government can’t afford, could there not be a system in place where the government acts as some form of guarantor on the mortgages for first time buyers so the mortgages can increase to 100% of property value again?'
 
He added, 'This would negate the necessity of the government to immediately find funds. It would also mean that first time buyers only need to cover the legal fees and Stamp Duty Land Tax ("SDLT") if applicable, enabling them to jump from renting to owning, where a mortgage could potentially be less than the monthly rental costs.' 
 
David Kennea, personal tax semi-senior, said, 'There is a need for more affordable housing, but affordable housing currently being built isn’t necessarily affordable. The upfront cost of a deposit combined with SDLT and legal fees are preventing first time buyers from getting onto the property ladder, and this is an issue affecting not just London and the south of England, but the whole nation.'

Transport

Chanil Patel, trainee chartered accountant, said, 'London has one of the most expensive transport systems in the world, which largely contributes to the issue that people are unable to save for a house. There could be a tax relief for basic tax rate payers, which would reduce the monthly cost of travel. If companies were able to provide financing for travel out of gross salaries for basic tax rate payers, they would be able to get a 20% reduction. For example, my monthly travel is around £200, which if it was paid before my income tax deduction would give me an extra £40 a month.'

Student loans

David Shaw, trainee chartered accountant, said, 'The Government could consider restoring the maintenance grants for university students from less privileged backgrounds, which were previously cut.' 

Hayley Saunders, business group senior, said, 'Students should be notified if they are not repaying at least the interest back on their student loan, and offered to increase their repayments to avoid the debt escalating.'

Skills gap

Georgina Heath, trainee chartered accountant, said, 'With many government jobs and certain sectors relying heavily on foreign workers, we appear to be on the brink of a major staff supply shortage. It is important for the government to consider providing better incentives for school students looking to go to university to fill those future gaps. The focus on this area could include dramatically reducing student loans for people looking to go into those areas or improving the support to those students while at university in the way of bursaries or grants rather than increasing their loan.'


A fair budget

David Kennea, personal tax semi-senior, said: 'We don’t need a budget for the next generation, but a budget for all generations, keeping things as fair as possible for all age groups.'