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RICS East of England Residential Question Time – 22nd November

Cameron Maguire and Annabel James attended a thought provoking discussion on the state of the residential market in the region.

A group of property industry professionals came together to discuss current issues affecting the property market. The RICS UK Residential Director Andrew Bulmer chaired a panel of experts including Mike Lambert of Countryside Properties, Ian Poole of St Edmundsbury Council and Brian Buckingham of Bidwells in Cambridge.

Considerable discussion time was given to the Government’s Help to Buy Scheme. A poll of the participants indicated that the majority of property industry professionals were not in favour of the scheme, with many predicting future problems, leading to a discussion regarding the definition of a housing ‘bubble’.

The issue of housing supply versus demand in the region was also discussed, with the appropriate location of new housing being key. All were in agreement that the structure of the Community Infrastructure Levy required change, and that current practice of house building prior to installation of appropriate infrastructure is unsustainable. It was recommended that Councils should take better advantage of loans available from the European Investment Bank to enable them to install infrastructure first.

Annabel queried whether councils had been successful in the creation and implementation of Local Plans following the end of the 12 month grace period in March 2013.  All in the room were of the consensus that the majority of councils still had a considerable amount of work to do in order to bring their policies in line with the NPPF.

The discussion gave Cameron and Annabel a lot to think about, and provided a vital update on the role that valuers and surveyors have to play in the ever changing market.

November 25th, 2013
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