Examination of Witnesses

Part of Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:40 pm on 23rd June 2022.

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Alex Morton:

We have done a couple of papers on this. There is a clear link between the number of transactions and the speed at which house builders can build out, as I think you have been hearing from other witnesses. The number of people who are prepared to buy new build is relatively constant; Help to Buy has shifted that, but absent Help to Buy, it is a relatively constant number. If transactions increase, so will the number of houses built. I can send you our paper “Stamping Down”, in which we talked about how reducing stamp duty would boost transaction levels. For me, part of the problem is that even if we get housing up to 300,000 for some years, we should be doing that along with other measures—we might then be able to start taking our foot off the pedal in about 10 years’ time. The backlog is so large that we should do all these things. Worrying too much about the exact mix is almost dancing on the head of a pin. We need to reduce demand and increase supply now, and then in five or 10 years, having done those things, we can review where we have got to.