“Michael Gove vows to end ‘scourge’ of empty second homes”

Jun 14, 2022 | Housing market

No, higher council tax will not end the ‘scourge’ of second homes nor ’bring life back’ to communities. To paraphrase another (and possibly more effective) Leveller Up, you need to be ‘tough on second homes, tough on the causes of second homes. And the primary causes are City bonuses, which have snuck back in a big way; and the big bucks of private equity, which have made zillionaires of many a bought-out business owner. If you have that much to spend on second, third, and often more homes, extra council tax will deter you no more than the whack of additional stamp duty already payable. Only much more of the tax which dare not speak its name (income) will make a difference. I’d say.

Read more here

“First-time buyers’ borrowing power hit by affordability stress”

“First-time buyers’ borrowing power hit by affordability stress”

Lenders have to assess whether or not you can afford a mortgage, and in recent years this has meant ‘stress-testing’. That’s not just how you react to the spectre of 3 or 4 prime ministers in the space of less than a year or a commute on the M25; it’s whether you’d be able to make your monthly repayments if interest rates went up still further.