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Why 'generation Rent' Could Swing The Election

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Sky News suggests Labour are first off the blocks in trying to tap the votes of Generation Rent

The Labour leader's rent control plan has attracted sharp criticism from the Tories but it could be a shrewd political manoeuvre.

Ed Miliband's idea is to cap rents at the rate of inflation, make three-year contracts standard and ensure new tenants are told what the previous occupants were paying.

Labour says the market intervention would help families with "the cost of living crisis"

But the Conservatives have joined landlords' groups to suggest the policy will cut supply and have a negative impact on the housing crisis.

Senior Tories have been quick to quote Swedish economist Assar Lindbeck who said that rent control was "the most effective technique presently known to destroy a city - except for bombing".

But whether you agree with Labour on this or not, it is a well-targeted policy. "Generation Rent" as Mr Miliband describes it, could hold the key to election victory.

Research by housing group Shelter, published just before the campaign period, shows that key marginal seats have seen a disproportionately high increase in the numbers of people renting accommodation.

In a study of the 115 Lord Ashcroft-polled marginals, Shelter found declines in home ownership were especially marked in key Labour-Conservative battlegrounds.

Of the Ashcroft-polled seats, 56% are what the group describes as "housing hot spots" of very high unaffordability.

Thirteen out of fourteen (93%) of marginal seats in Eastern England are "housing hot spots", including key seats such as Norwich North and key three-way marginals like Watford and Thurrock.

Eight out of 11 (73%) of key East Midlands seats had also seen sharper declines in home ownership than the national average.

And of course every swing seat in London and the South East such as - Hove, Brentford and Isleworth, Hampstead and Kilburn and Hastings and Rye has a housing market far more unaffordable than the national average.

In Hove, for example, 99% of homes for sale were deemed "unaffordable to a typical family".

The report authors conclude: "For the first time in a generation, then, we can say with confidence the kind of voters who decide elections are being hit hard by the housing crisis."

It's not hard to see then why housing policy is a key focus for politicians and how "generation rent" could swing this election.

http://news.sky.com/story/1472834/why-generation-rent-could-swing-the-election

If they made noises about scrapping HTB and FLS, then I might be more tempted to support them. This is a start though, and a demographic / electorate swing long-predicted by this site. If politics is being used to prevent the market from self-correcting, then ultimately the politics will favour those who have been priced out for so long.

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Going to be a bit of a fight though - came across this gem yesterday:

Rent controls A bad fix for a problem that doesn't exist

Bascially, there is no housing crisis and if there is, its all the fault of immigrants and students who conveniently are the only ones who'll suffer, 'native's are not being squeezed out apparently. The housing market is skewed against Landlords in favour of home-owners.

It does read like a VI who 'doth protest too much' and worse, who understands precisely what is going on and simply cynically fighting for selfish interest.

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If I thought that any of the things coming out of politicians mouths at the moment might actually mature into policy, then I'd be more inclined to spend some time listening to them, and perhaps consider voting for one of them.

But this election campaign seems to be the most chaotic, uninformed and ad hoc I've ever witnessed - it's almost as if they all wake up each day, read what the blogoshpere is saying about them, and invent a couple of new bits of ******** over breakfast.

I sincerely doubt that any of this stuff will ever come to pass.

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From the "Rent controls A bad fix for a problem that doesn't exist" link.


There is very little evidence that aspirant home owners are being squeezed out of the market, or that rents are unaffordable.

Seems a bit delusional seeing as it appears not to mention all the extra youngsters having to live with their parents and the average age of FTBers increasing to late 30s plus reports that there's limits on mortgages for buying a house after the age of 40. Nor the effect of next step up the ladder with increasing house prices.

It's a pre-election article of delusion and self interest. After decontrol of rents in the 80s new home building has been relatively flat compared to previously so why not give it a try.

Edited by billybong

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Andrew Neil brought up a problem with Labour's 3-year guaranteed tenancy: he asked if it would be compulsory. No came the answer - well, only on the tenant's behalf, demanding it of the LL, but the tenant could have less if he wanted the flexibility. So the LL is entitled to only take tenants who don't insist on 3 years? Well. ermm ..........

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Going to be a bit of a fight though - came across this gem yesterday:

Rent controls A bad fix for a problem that doesn't exist

Bascially, there is no housing crisis and if there is, its all the fault of immigrants and students who conveniently are the only ones who'll suffer, 'native's are not being squeezed out apparently. The housing market is skewed against Landlords in favour of home-owners.

It does read like a VI who 'doth protest too much' and worse, who understands precisely what is going on and simply cynically fighting for selfish interest.

The ONS rental index covers all tenancies, old and new. Tenants who have remained continuously at one address for the last seven years have done relatively well vs cpi (albeit from a very high base). New tenants, and those forced to move, have had an entirely different experience - as captured by HomeLet's rental index of new tenancies (below). This demographic tends to be younger and/or less affluent than the broader community of renters.

http://homelet.co.uk/assets/documents/M3692-March-2015-HomeLet-Rental-Index-14.04.15.pdf

Recent trends:

  • In the first quarter of 2015, average rental values for new tenancies in the UK were 10.2% higher than the same period last year
  • The annual growth in average rental values for the first quarter of 2015 (10.2%) was higher than quarter one 2014 (4.9%) and quarter one 2013 (3.6%)
  • In the first quarter of 2015, average tenant incomes were 1.9% higher than the same period last year
  • Average rents for new tenancies in London are 8.4% higher than the same period last year
  • Average rental values for new tenancies in London (£1,443pcm) were £112 more expensive per month when compared to average rental values in the same period in 2014 (£1,331pcm)
  • When London is excluded, the average UK rental value in March 2015 was £733pcm - this is 8.4% higher than the same period last year (£676pcm)
  • In the first quarter of 2015, average rental values have increased in eleven out of twelve regions in the UK

rents3.png

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I wouldn't trust Od Miliband to run a bath, let alone fix the housing market.

What needs to be done simply isn't in his political lexicon.

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I wouldn't trust Od Miliband to run a bath, let alone fix the housing market.

What needs to be done simply isn't in his political lexicon.

Yep, he has reached the heady heights of now being able to make a speech without coming across too bizarrely, the same way that someone could cram on singing or acting lessons to get through a part in a play or something, doesn`t mean he has any clue what he is doing....which is why I want him at the helm after the election, with the Wee Scottish terrier nipping at his heels! Should be a spectacular mess, will certainly take the spotlight off Greece for a while anyway :lol:

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I wouldn't trust Od Miliband to run a bath, let alone fix the housing market.

What needs to be done simply isn't in his political lexicon.

Yes, but the same goes for Cameron etc etc.

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Yes, but the same goes for Cameron etc etc.

True, except possibly the LibDems and the Greens - doesn't make me feel any better though.

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If I thought that any of the things coming out of politicians mouths at the moment might actually mature into policy, then I'd be more inclined to spend some time listening to them, and perhaps consider voting for one of them.

But this election campaign seems to be the most chaotic, uninformed and ad hoc I've ever witnessed - it's almost as if they all wake up each day, read what the blogoshpere is saying about them, and invent a couple of new bits of ******** over breakfast.

I sincerely doubt that any of this stuff will ever come to pass.

You're probably right. Both of the current main parties know they're probably not going to win an outright majority, so might as well promise things that can be negotiated or dropped when in a coalition.

Edited by FallingAwake

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The ONS rental index covers all tenancies, old and new. Tenants who have remained continuously at one address for the last seven years have done relatively well vs cpi (albeit from a very high base). New tenants, and those forced to move, have had an entirely different experience - as captured by HomeLet's rental index of new tenancies (below). This demographic tends to be younger and/or less affluent than the broader community of renters.

http://homelet.co.uk/assets/documents/M3692-March-2015-HomeLet-Rental-Index-14.04.15.pdf

Recent trends:

  • In the first quarter of 2015, average rental values for new tenancies in the UK were 10.2% higher than the same period last year
  • The annual growth in average rental values for the first quarter of 2015 (10.2%) was higher than quarter one 2014 (4.9%) and quarter one 2013 (3.6%)
  • In the first quarter of 2015, average tenant incomes were 1.9% higher than the same period last year
  • Average rents for new tenancies in London are 8.4% higher than the same period last year
  • Average rental values for new tenancies in London (£1,443pcm) were £112 more expensive per month when compared to average rental values in the same period in 2014 (£1,331pcm)
  • When London is excluded, the average UK rental value in March 2015 was £733pcm - this is 8.4% higher than the same period last year (£676pcm)
  • In the first quarter of 2015, average rental values have increased in eleven out of twelve regions in the UK

rents3.png

Thanks for this - really informative. I should add that my anecdotal experience is London and not far from this - a few lucky 'stable' acquaintances and then about the same are frustrated renting gypsies. Also to be fair (or not) the journalist decides to edit London out of his argument.

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I wouldn't trust Od Miliband to run a bath, let alone fix the housing market.

What needs to be done simply isn't in his political lexicon.

You are having a laugh - decades of hpi policy is not going to be undone by a few smash and grab ideas a couple of weeks before the election.

The best we will get is the start of a change in public sentiment - looking good here - prompting the beginning of a shift in policy - bit of a mixed bag but reasons to be optimistic.

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Yes, but the same goes for Cameron etc etc.

Not really, Cameron has been there five years, the Ponzi hasn`t collapsed in an unmanageable way, and many people believe that we are "recovering". That was the mandate he had from his banker masters and he really has played a blinder IMO. Also to be fair they have tinkered around with tax and I don`t believe anyone is actually starving in the UK yet?

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I heard Hilary Benn interviewed about rent controls and registers of landlords etc this morning by Mishal Hussein on R4 Today.

She seemed furious. I was willing him to retaliate by asking if she or her family were landlords. But he didn't. Don't suppose anyone on here knows what the answer would have been?

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The point is that Ed and his Hampstead socialist chums think that everyone can afford a house for several hundred thousand pounds really, they just need a little bit of help from the government and the ever generous tax payer, that way they all get to sit around in their Notting Hill mansions at dinner parties slapping each other on the back and talking about how wonderful it is that the common worker can now afford to buy a house thanks to them, pass the caviar daaaarling.

The thought that an alleged party of the working people (lol), would consider actually you know, building social housing and trying too help the lowest paid to afford secure shelter doesn't even occur to them...

LIBLABCON...many faces, one agenda, all lies.

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The point is that Ed and his Hampstead socialist chums think that everyone can afford a house for several hundred thousand pounds really, they just need a little bit of help from the government and the ever generous tax payer, that way they all get to sit around in their Notting Hill mansions at dinner parties slapping each other on the back and talking about how wonderful it is that the common worker can now afford to buy a house thanks to them, pass the caviar daaaarling.

If you can afford private rental prices of £500+ a month without housing benefit, you can afford to service a mortgage at current interest rate levels for 100 - 200k - even if you can't get a mortgage due to income multiple, deposit or past financial behaviour.

So I can see why they see that price range as affordable to a number of people.

I am in no way advocating the current prices as a good thing, just looking at the other side of the coin.

I find it amusing that the politicians see stamp duty as too much as if that is the main barrier to buying a house.

Edited by Squeeky

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I think Lbour are desperate and know that the boomers are voting Tory so, at the last minute, they are going after the renters. Tossers.

I don't think so - I think these vote grabs were all planned for the final weeks of the election. To put it negatively: Cameron decided to sacrifice Housing Associations and Miliband decided to sacrifice Landlords.

Housing collapse aside, could be an even bigger issue by the next election.

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I heard Hilary Benn interviewed about rent controls and registers of landlords etc this morning by Mishal Hussein on R4 Today.

She seemed furious. I was willing him to retaliate by asking if she or her family were landlords. But he didn't. Don't suppose anyone on here knows what the answer would have been?

She was: http://cloud-computing.tmcnet.com/news/2006/02/27/1412311.htm

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