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Which political party is best suited to govern this nation's housing market?
In favour of setting new homes targets, the existing government has pledged to construct 200,000 new build homes a year until 2016, then 240,000 a year until 2020.
On the affordable housing front, Labour wants to give Local Authority Housing Companies greater powers to build new affordable homes.
Labour wants to continue to enforce the largely unpopular Home Information Packs, continue home ownership schemes, such as Homebuy Direct, NewBuild HomeBuy and First Time Buyers' Initiative, which helps more people on a modest income gain a foot on the housing ladder. The party has also raised the stamp duty threshold for first time buyers to £250,000 for two years.
The Tories want to abolish all homebuilders targets but offer council tax incentives to local councils, although it is not clear what impact this will have on existing council taxes in each borough, despite the party's insistence that rates will be frozen next year.
The Opposition wants to hand greater powers back to local authorities, permitting Local Housing Trusts to control the construction of new homes in their local areas. This would allow for greater community feedback and potential local referendums.
The party also wants to give social tenants with five years good behaviour a 10% equity stake in their home, scrap stamp duty for first-time buyers on homes up to 250,000 ‘permanently' and get rid of Home Information Packs.
The election underdogs want to scrap regional homebuilding targets to permit local authorities to determine how many and what type of new homes are required in their area.
The party also wants to construct thousands of new affordable homes to rent; ensure council homes sold under Right to Buy are replaced with more new build homes, by allowing local authorities to keep all of the capital receipts from Right to Buy sales.
The Lib Dems propose to create a new system of Safe Start mortgages that protect homebuyers from negative equity; offer loans for people seeking to invest in green-friendly renewable home energies. They also want to introduce a so-called ‘mansion tax' of 5% stamp duty for properties worth over £1m.
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