Abrahmsohn: Xenophobic proposals to increase housing supply are daft with a capital D

The latest idea from a Lib Dem MP – to stop developers selling homes to overseas buyers – has not gone down well with Trevor Abrahmsohn. At all.

Simon Hughes, have you gone completely crackers?

I know that you need fodder to grab some headlines, since otherwise people will think the Lib Dems have gone to sleep, but I have never heard such a daft proposal in all my life – perhaps since the window tax!

Imagine the mayhem with international buyers if such a nationalistic proposal were implemented

The one thing that the residential property market does not need is further regulation and can you imagine the interruption that this would create in the markets if such a proposal where to be implemented?

Buyers would use a nominee to represent them and you would never know if that were a national or international purchaser – imagine the mayhem!

I think you are in the wrong country Mr Hughes; you would be better off in M. Hollande’s France where interfering with markets is commonplace and is borne by bureaucrats who have never had a proper job, but just like to pontificate.

You know perfectly well that this suggestion will fall on deaf ears, as it should do, but in the meantime you will get a moments air-time in the media for having done so.

If you want more supply of housing, then turn your efforts to reforming the planning process and try to make us a “can do environment” as opposed to the present “can’t do” one. When you have done that, persuade the lending institutions to provide funding on reasonable commercial terms to developers and, abracadabra, you will have greater liquidity and increased supply.

Now that I have given you your homework, get on with the job and come back with some sensible suggestions!

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