Industry reacts to Queen’s speech

Michael Lloyd

October 14, 2019

The industry has been reacting to a speech Her Majesty the Queen made at the Palace of Westminster today.

The speech unveiled the government’s new legislative agenda and opened a new parliamentary session.

NAEA Propertymark welcomed the Queen’s mention on building safety standards.

Her Majesty said: “My ministers will…bring forward laws to implement new building safety standards.”

Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, highlighted the body’s support for the creation of a New Homes Ombudsman.

Hayward said: “The irony of buying a shiny brand new home and finding yourself dealing with a number of snagging issues, with no easy path of redress, is not lost on consumers.

“There should be a statutory requirement to belong to a New Homes Ombudsman and the remit should be UK wide.

“Property developers should be charged per unit, ensuring that the access is free for customers.”

The Queen also introduced a Financial Services Bill to help provide certainty, stability and new opportunities for the financial services sector.

Ishaan Malhi, chief executive and founder of Trussle, said: “The proposal of a Financial Services Bill in today’s Queen’s speech could deliver solutions to fix the broken mortgage market once and for all.

“Too often, the mortgage industry doesn’t work in the interest of consumers, trapping them into costly rates or failing to serve those in specialist groups.”

Meanwhile, Will Hale, chief executive, of Key, was pleased with the Queen’s pledge for her government to reform adult social care and introduce a Pension Schemes Bill.

This is designed to tackle irresponsible management of private pension schemes.

Hale commented: “Today’s Queen’s speech make interesting listening for those of us in the later life sector with its support for adult social care and more details on the upcoming Pension Schemes Bill.

“The proposals to reform adult social care are vital as even with the funding increases unveiled over recent months, how to fund this important service and provide those who need support with dignity they deserve in older age is likely to remain a challenge for local authorities.

“Increasingly, we are finding that people are using the equity in their homes to either adapt their properties to support independent living or to pay for care at home.

“We are hopeful that the reforms will take into account the positive contribution that housing equity can make in helping older people meet these costs in later life.

“This is good news for the industry and again, we are hopeful that when support is provided to help people make smart choices due consideration is given to what is often their largest asset – their home.”

The Queen talked about a range of issues from the environment to Brexit, promising her government aims to leave the European Union on 31 October with a new partnership, based on free trade and friendly cooperation.

Despite the Queen discussing a range of issues including the environment and Brexit, many pointed out the lack of focus on housing in her speech.

Marc von Grundherr, director of lettings and estate agent Benham and Reeves, said: “It really is quite astonishing that despite the consistent doom and gloom that has surrounded the UK property market for some time now, yet another blind eye has been turned to the issues plaguing our property market.

“The government’s monumental failure to build enough homes has resulted in a national housing crisis and this isn’t something we can shy away from and hope it goes away.

“While previous initiatives have stoked the fires of buyer demand and caused an even greater thirst for property, the actual delivery of housing stock to meet this demand has been woeful and perhaps this latest neglect of the issue is the government admitting defeat?”

Tom Gatzen, the co-founder of leading roomshare platform ideal flatmate, added: “It is disappointing to see that the state of the UK property market failed to make the cut for today’s speech.

“A lack of affordable and social rental options is causing an increase in the number of people ending up on the streets.

“This is a major issue in today’s society and one that should come before education, infrastructure and many of the other areas of focus announced today.”

Dan Wilson Craw, director of campaign group Generation Rent, was also disappointed with the speech.

Wilson Craw argued: “The Queen’s Speech contained nothing to make renting more tolerable for England’s 11 million private renters, who right now can lose their home with no reason and only two months’ notice.

“The government has consulted on abolishing unfair Section 21 evictions over the summer.

“This would provide stable homes and strengthen communities, and there is cross-party support to legislate for it.”

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