Leasehold and Commonhold Reform — [Albert Owen in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:16 pm on 2nd October 2019.

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Photo of Esther McVey Esther McVey Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government) 4:16 pm, 2nd October 2019

The hon. Gentleman makes a fair point; I will come to it later in my speech. No doubt, he realises that with leaseholds dating back a long time, there are legalities to unpick, but we are working on understanding how to do that.

I am pleased to see that the leasehold house ban has had an immediate effect on the market. In 2017, when we first made the announcement, 10% of new-build houses in England were sold as leasehold; today, that figure is down to 2%, which is significant progress, but we obviously want to make more. We will still legislate to ensure that, in future, apart from in exceptional circumstances, all new houses will be sold on a freehold basis.

Developers will no longer be able to use leases on houses for financial gain—a practice that has become the norm in some parts of the country, as we have heard again today. That will make certain that the right tenure is used on the right properties, which will make it fairer for all. The reforms will remove the incentives for developers and freeholders to use leaseholds to make unjustified profits at the expense of leaseholders.