General Election: The 2017 Housing Manifesto Of The 3 Major Parties

General Election: The 2017 Housing Manifesto Of The 3 Major Parties

So, the General Election is looming. On 8th June, we face the decision of whether to carry on along the path of ‘strong and stable leadership’ promised by the Tories, or gamble on the prospect of the unknown – a Labour candidate who looks nothing like the party face we’ve been used to over the last two decades. Then there’s the Lib Dems, UKIP, or the Greens: of which there is much less to say.

But for investors in The House Crowd, the principal focus will be the housing policy offered by each of the major political parties. So, just to save you trawling through the party manifestos, we’ve done the dirty work for you. Here’s what you need to know about the 2017 housing manifesto for the Conservatives, Labour, and Lib Dems. Just an FYI – at time of writing, the Greens and UKIP are still yet to publish their manifestos.

Conservative Party 2017 Housing Manifesto 

The ‘Homes For All’ section of the Tory manifesto begins with a comment that states the blinking obvious: ‘We have not built enough homes in this country for generations, and buying or renting a home has become increasingly unaffordable’. So how do they plan to fix it?

The key, they state, is to build enough homes to meet demand. Again, pretty obvious. They identify that the effect of this would be to slow the rise in housing costs, allowing more ‘ordinary, working families’ to buy a home and also to bring down the cost of renting. Crucially, for investors, this will ensure that more private capital is invested in more productive investment, thus hastening economic growth in a secure way for the future.

The Tory manifesto pledges the delivery of one million homes by the end of 2020, with half a million more by 2022. They promise to deliver on the reforms from their Housing White Paper, freeing up more land for new builds in the ‘right places’, encouraging modern methods of construction, and by giving councils the power to intervene where developers do not act on their planning permissions. The Tories will also diversify who builds homes in the UK.

The plan also includes the building of better homes, supporting ‘high-quality, high-density’ mansion blocks, mews houses and terraced streets. And all this whilst retaining the strong protections that currently exist over designated Green Belt, National Parks, and Areas of Outstanding National Beauty. Thus, the government must build 160,000 houses on its own land, and rebalancing housing growth across the country – not limiting it to the south-east.

Housing for older people is also a priority, so the Tories plan to help housing associations increase their specialist housing stock.

The manifesto identifies councils as being to blame for the failure to build sustainable, integrated communities, fingering them as the ‘worst offenders’ and accusing them of building ‘for political gain rather than for social purpose’. The Tories plan to enter into new Council Housing Deal with ambitious, pro-development local authorities to assist them with building more social housing. ‘We will work with them,’ they say. ‘To improve their capability and capacity to develop more good homes, as well as providing them with significant low-cost capital funding’. As a result, they plan to build new, fixed-term social houses, which will ‘be sold privately after ten to fifteen years with an automatic Right to Buy for tenants’, the proceeds of which will be recycled into further homes. Compulsory Purchase Orders will be reformed, reducing cost and difficulty for councils to use, making it easier to determine sites’ true market value.

Finally, the Conservative 2017 housing manifesto pledges to work with private and public sector house builders to capture the increase in land value created when they build to reinvest in local infrastructure, essential services and further housing, making it more certain that public sector landowners benefit from the increase in land value expected from urban regeneration and development.

Labour Party 2017 Housing Manifesto

Labour have titled the 2017 Housing manifesto section of their election manifesto ‘Secure Homes for All’. It also begins by outlining the housing crisis, and pointing the finger at the Tories for failing to fix the housing crisis in the last seven years, stating that ‘Since 2010, housebuilding has fallen to its lowest level since the 1920s… rents have risen faster than incomes, there are almost 200,000 fewer homeowners, and new affordable housebuilding is at a 24-year low’.

Labour’s solution? Investing in building over a million new homes – 100,000 council and housing association homes a year by the end of the next Parliament.

Their plan for a new Department of Housing is ostensibly to ‘ensure housing is about homes for the many, not investment opportunities for the few’. We wonder whether they know about the democratising power of property crowdfunding in this area… and whether they plan to invest in the innovative finance model for real estate at all.

Whilst the Tories accuse local councils of building ‘for political gain rather than for social purpose’, Labour plans to give councils new powers to build homes. They plan to begin the biggest council building program for at least 30 years, ditching the Tories’ ban on long-term council tenancies so that council tenants can have a ‘secure tenancy in a home built to high standards’. The ‘right-to-buy’ policy would be suspended in order to protect affordable housing for local people, unless councils can prove they have a plan to replace homes sold like-for-like.

To avoid urban sprawl, Labour promises to start work on a new generation of ‘New Towns’ to build the homes needed, prioritising building on brownfield sites and – like the Tories – protecting Green Belt land.

The priority, of course, for Labour, is to build new council funds through their National Transformation Fund, which – they say – will ensure a ‘vibrant construction sector with a skilled workforce and rights at work’.

Along with all those council houses, Labour will also build thousands of low-cost homes specifically reserved for first-time buyers, giving local people buying their first home ‘first dibs’ on new homes built in their area. Labour councils across the country, they say, have already been building an average of nearly 1,000 more new homes than Conservative councils.

Just as the Tories do, Labour pledges to ‘not only build more, [but to] build better’. More homes will be insulated, and new modern standards for building ‘zero carbon homes’ will be implemented. Equally, the party plans to consult on new rules on minimum space standards, and introduce new minimum standards to ensure properties are ‘fit for human habitation’ and ‘empowering tenants to take action if their rented homes are substandard’. Like the Tories, Labour also identifies the need for older people’s housing, ‘ensuring that local plans’ address this need. There’s also their predictable promise to ‘reverse the cruel decision’ to abolish housing benefit for 18-21 year olds, a controversial move by the Tories that has had many up in arms.

Controls on rent rises, more secure tenancies, landlord licensing and new consumer rights for renters are all promised. They also promise an inflation cap on rent rises, and to make three-year tenancies the norm. They equally state that they’ll legislate to ban letting agent fees for tenants – which seems a slightly odd statement considering this is already in the pipeline.

Liberal Democrat Party 2017 Housing Manifesto

In the same vein as the two major political parties, the Lib Dems, too, begin their 2017 Housing manifesto section with the (not-so) news that the ‘housing crisis in Britain has become an emergency’. Their figures for increasing the rate of housebuilding are to double the current level to 300,000 new homes a year.

Rather kindly, the Lib Dems have broken their housing pledge down into bullet points, which makes it rather easier to share verbatim:

We will:

  • Directly build homes to fill the gap left by the market, to reach our housebuilding target of 300,000 homes a year, through a government commissioning programme to build homes for sale and rent. We will ensure that half a million affordable, energy-efficient homes are built by the end of the parliament.
  • Create at least 10 new garden cities in England, providing tens of thousands of high-quality, zero-carbon homes, with gardens and shared green space, jobs, schools and public transport.
  • Set up a new government-backed British Housing and Infrastructure Development Bank with a remit including providing long-term capital for major new settlements and helping attract finance for major housebuilding projects.
  • End the Voluntary Right to Buy pilots that sell off housing association homes and the associated high value asset levy.
  • Lift the borrowing cap on local authorities and increase the borrowing capacity of housing associations so that they can build council and social housing.
  • Scrap exemptions on smaller housing development schemes from their obligation to provide affordable homes, and strengthen the hand of local government to prevent large developers reneging on their commitments.
  • Require local plans to take into account at least 15 years of future housing need – focusing on long-term development and community needs.
  • Create a community right of appeal in cases where planning decisions go against the approved local plan.
  • Enable local authorities to: – Levy up to 200% council tax on second homes and ‘buy to leave empty’ investments from overseas. – Enforce housebuilding on unwanted public sector land. – Penalise excessive land-banking when builders with planning permission have failed to build after three years. – End the Right to Buy if they choose.
  • Help people who cannot afford a deposit by introducing a new Rent to Own model where rent payments give tenants an increasing stake in the property, owning it outright after 30 years.
  • Improve renting by banning lettings fees for tenants, capping upfront deposits and increasing minimum standards in rented homes.
  • Help young people into the rental market by establishing a new Help to Rent scheme to provide government-backed tenancy deposit loans for all first-time 62 Support Families and Communities 6 renters under 30.
  • Give British buyers a fair chance by stopping developers advertising homes abroad before they have been advertised in the UK.
  • Give tenants first refusal to buy the home they are renting from a landlord who decides to sell during the tenancy at the market rate according to an independent valuation.
  • Promote longer tenancies of three years or more with an inflation-linked annual rent increase built in, to give tenants security and limit rent hikes.
  • Improve protections against rogue landlords through mandatory licensing and allow access for tenants to the database of rogue landlords and property agents.
  • End the scandal of rough sleeping by increasing support for homelessness prevention and adequately funding age-appropriate emergency accommodation and supported housing, while ensuring that all local authorities have at least one provider of the Housing First model of provision for long-term, entrenched homeless people.

So that’s the top three parties covered. Clearly, there’s plenty to consider; lots of contrasts, but equally lots of crossover between opposing parties. Who’s getting your vote on 8th June? Actually, don’t answer that – no one wants to deal with another war in the Comments section on Facebook… there’s too many of those out there already.

Manchester Property Market Growth at 12 Year High

Manchester Property Market Growth at 12 Year High

Latest figures released by the Hometrack Index show Manchester property market growth to have hit a 12 year high in 2016. This gives the city the second highest rate of price growth in the UK, next to Bristol.

A rise of 8.9% year-on-year for Manchester was reported, with experts predicting that the city will overtake Bristol for pole position by the end of the first quarter of 2017. The figures for Manchester exceed the average year-on-year increase across the UK, which came in at 7.7%.

Strong market fundamentals, particularly a significant supply/demand imbalance in Manchester, keep pressure on prices high. Despite the same supply/demand imbalance in the capital however, London dropped to seventh place for price growth in 2016.

Strong Market Fundamentals Keep Manchester Property Market Growth Thriving

Manchester’s vibrant rental market is also thriving, with demand continuing to grow. This, of course, makes it a dream opportunity for buy-to-let investors. Indeed, the city was recently named the UK’s buy-to-let hotspot by HSBC. This is all despite the massive challenges faced by buy-to-let investors following the government’s attacks on landlords.

The growing popularity of property crowdfunding is helping prospective buy-to-let investors push back against these attacks, providing a welcome haven for those keen to benefit from a steady stream of secured rental income.

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Rental growth here is 13 times that of London, driven by the growing population of young renters, flocking to the city for studying and career opportunities. Manchester boasts 60% more 25-29 year olds than the UK average, placing it within the country’s fastest growing demand for short term lets.

Massive Investment In Manchester Fuelling Property Market Growth

Success is also compounded by the government’s whopping £7 billion investment in Manchester. Determination to develop a world-class infrastructure in the city will attract further billions of worldwide investment over the coming years, which is already evident as overseas investors hone in on the investment opportunities offered here.  

Over 100,000 students across Manchester’s four main higher education institutions give it the highest student population in Europe.

70,000 of these are not in student halls of residences, meaning they are renting privately within the city. This makes it prime territory for PBSA (Purpose Built Student Accommodation) investment.

Across the board, from the UK-leading purchase market, to the thriving private rental and student markets, right through to commercial investments, Manchester is winning. As growth in the city’s property market continues at an unprecedented pace, with huge investment fuelling projected growth for years to come, we remain confident in the continued promise that our city offers investors.

View our Property Investments

Westminster Prices Falling



Westminster Prices Falling

I am not sure if this should really be called ‘the sound of the suburbs part two’ or try and think of something clever about the smartest parts of London not looking like the smartest places to invest in property nowadays?
According to the leading property services group LSL the house prices in areas such as Kensington and Chelsea have fallen by up to 22% since autumn 2014.

A report from LSL identifies that the areas of Kensington and Chelsea alone had seen prices plummet by 16% since a peak in September 2014.

Prices in Westminster were seen to fall by around 22% between a peak in November and the end of May 2015 which has been blamed in part on the December introduction of changes to stamp duty which penalises expensive properties.

Changes to stamp duty have meant that the average priced property in Chelsea or Kensington will see an increase of around £120K in stamp duty whilst buyers of properties worth less than £937K will now pay less stamp duty than they used to. This has resulted in the market slowing down and more importantly (according to the RICS) housing stock levels falling.

As we reported recently this has once again lead to increases in the suburbs both in London and other areas of England and Wales as the popularity of moving out of the city centres and taking advantage of improving transportation networks and more importantly affordable properties kicks in.

The RICS now predict that the shortages in housing stock are likely to cause house prices to rise in England and Wales by a whopping 25% over the next 5 years.

It is reported that prices in thirteen of London’s suburbs have now seen prices hit new highs, away from the South East, the strongest growth was expected in north-west England, home of The House Crowd as a result of the government’s northern powerhouse initiative perhaps this will grow again if/when the HS2 rail links are completed?

You can read more about the strengthening Manchester economy in our guides, simply click here to download the packs.



House Prices On The Increase



House Prices on the increase (at last!)

Finally house prices are on the increase!
According to reports taken from recently published Land Registry data it has been identified that the average price of homes in both England and Wales has almost reached the similar figures to those of the 2007 market when prices were at their peak.

The Land Registry data generally showed a 5.1% annual increase in house prices to take the average value of properties to £179,817. It should be noted that this is less than £2,000 from the £181,014 peak which was recorded pre economic slump back in November 2007.

Semi-detached houses were seen to be the main catalyst in the house price growth. Prices for Semi-detached properties were reported to have been generally rising by 5.6% over the course of the year. The market for flats/apartments saw an increase of 5.4%. This increase saw the flat/apartment market growing such and becoming the second largest in the housing sector.

Regionally there were no major surprises when it came to house prices where the London region recorded the biggest increases (up by 10.1% over the previous 12 months) whereas Wales by contrast saw an increase of just 0.3% although cities such as Cardiff and Swansea have reported 11.2% increases.

One area that has seen a high % growth in house prices a little closer to House Crowd HQ is the South East Manchester district of Trafford. Possibly not the best news for first time buyers in the area but there has been an increase of 9.2%. The proximity of Trafford to retail hubs such as the Trafford Centre, the introduction of the Metrolink tram system linking the commuter belt with the Manchester city centre and the regeneration and relocation to Salford’s Media City by the BBC will no doubt have influenced these increases.


Keep an eye on the latest House Crowd investment opportunities on our website pages and make sure that you are signed up to receive all our early bird notifications through social media channels.



This Is The Sound Of The Suburbs



This Is The Sound Of The Suburbs

Recent figures show that house prices in central London are starting to fall and the suburbs are becoming the place to be. Homes in Kensington and Chelsea have already seen prices fall by 1.6% during February and March 2015 as people head to the commuter belt for a more affordable lifestyle and more importantly affordable property prices.

The upcoming introduction of the Crossrail link has been seen as a major influence in the sudden increase in house prices in the suburbs where the popular areas of Greenwich, Reading and Bracknell in particular are now becoming very popular with commuters.

Prices in Greenwich have risen by a reported 18.8% recently, Bracknell which is close to the M4 in Berkshire has seen annual rises of 13.6% and figures in Reading are reported to be in the region of 13.5%. Cheaper house prices and improved transportation links to the centre of London are being seen as a major factor in these new commuter areas becoming more popular and this has lead to some parts of south-eastern England seeing annual rises in house prices of more than 13% each year.
Figures made available by the Land Registry have shown that prices in some parts of Outer London have increased by nearly 20% a year again swelling the movement out to the suburbs and increasing prices in these now popular commuter belts.

Similar can be said for Manchester where the expansion of the Metrolink tram system into East Manchester and beyond has lead to rises in house prices of 9.2% in both Trafford and Salford.
The areas are also popular with our own House Crowd property team when they select new investment opportunities and the introduction of the BBC and Media City to the newly regenerated Salford area will also have contributed to these rising prices in what were unloved parts of Manchester.
If you are a regular House Crowd investor you will no doubt be aware that we have been selecting our portfolio of properties in these parts of Manchester always keeping one step ahead of the new markets.
North of the border figures reported by the Registers of Scotland showed that in East Lothian at the eastern fringes of Edinburgh property prices had seen an increase of 28.6%.

However the same cannot be said for all parts of the UK, in the north-east prices were seen to fall 4% during the period February to March 2015. An example of Darlington, County Durham was reported by the Land Registry to have seen prices fall by 6.2% over the last year.

The housing experts are now expecting that the average house prices will rise by 5-6% during 2015 partly due to the cost of borrowing remaining low and introduction by lenders of products such as a 1.09% 2 year fixed rate mortgage deal.

Keep an eye on the latest House Crowd investment opportunities on our website pages and make sure that you are signed up to receive all our early bird notifications through social media channels.



The Early Bird


Early Birds

Ever wondered what the little bird character is that we have started to feature on our website and social media?


The little character is our ‘Early Bird’ and he’s here to make sure our investors know when our new projects are going live.
We hate it when people miss out on our new projects and often get asked if we give priority to existing investors or if it’s a case of first come first served.
Here at The House Crowd we operate on a first come first served basis.
With the introduction of the ‘Early birds’ we have now tried to make it as fair as possible and having listened to our investors we have introduced a few new ways of alerting them of our new property crowdfunding projects.
We have designed a great new feature for each project which details a few bullet points describing the property, some of the numbers and of course a few photographs.

Are you a Facebook user? If you are then why not pop over and like our Facebook page, you will then be able to tick the box which gives the option to ‘get notifications’ then every time we upload a new project ‘Early bird’ on Facebook you will get an alert!

The same goes for the people who follow The House Crowd on Twitter where we will be uploading our early bird alerts to advise when we are launching a new project.
For those who don’t use social media keep an eye out for our emails from Frazer who will be keeping everybody up to date on our upcoming property crowdfunding opportunities.


4 Macro-Economic Factors That Can Affect Property Prices


4 Macro-Economic Factors That Can Affect Property Prices

According to an article by RICS UK residential director Andrew Bulmer there are 4 factors affecting property prices which you can use to help you buy properties that will increase in value.


  1. Housing shortage:
    We all know there is a housing shortage in Britain at the moment, every politician, pre-election reminds us this by donning a high viz vest & trying to lay a few bricks under the eye of a nervous assistant and a chuckling bricklayer.  This simple supply and demand for housing stock directly pushes up the prices of properties. It’s the same with supplying housing stock to the Local Authorities and a contributing factor to the areas in Manchester where The House Crowd choose many of their properties.
  1. A growing city
    As our investors know, The House Crowd’s core business is buy to let properties in Manchester.
    The city is now one of the country’s buy-to-let hotspots. The city’s population has grown by 11% between 2001 & 2014 and with hubs such as the BBC at Salford’s media city it is probably the top relocation destination for businesses moving away from London. This strengthening market is of course music to our ears as far as both our single let properties and HMOs are concerned!
  2. Planned transport links and transport infrastructure
    We all love to complain about traffic, especially in Manchester where the M60 seems to be getting more like the M25 carpark everyday. Over the next five years, £530M of government investment will be flowing into North West transport links these infrastructure improvements will eventually deliver improved connections to work and leisure destinations around the city. The improved transport hubs will again influence property prices once the improved infrastructure and connections are in place.
    It’s well documented that in London, property prices within a 10-minute walk from Crossrail stations have risen even faster than average London property prices.
  3. Gentrification of an area
    We all know about the ‘Waitrose effect’ where changes in urban community lifestyle and an increasing number of wealthier residents lead to increasing property prices. Most estate agents will tell you how the introduction of a Waitrose and the gentrification of an area suddenly turn a leafy suburb into the next place to be therefore increasing property values. In these locations undergoing gentrification, the average income increases. Poorer pre-gentrification residents who are unable to pay increased rents or property taxes find it necessary to leave.

RICS UK residential director Andrew Bulmer commented: “It comes down to the economy. London 30 or 40 years ago was a little bit grotty. As the city became wealthy and powerful that wealth rippled out.”

But if you are going to play that game you really need to get to grips with your local areas and understand what is making your city tick.

There is a concept called ‘the new build premium’. When a house has never been occupied it has an attraction to buyers. And that is logical, because a new house should be low maintenance. Once it becomes second hand, it obviously won’t attract a new build premium.”


Top presentation tips for selling your home – Part 1

With years of property buying experience, we have come across houses for sale presented in outstanding, average and downright terrible conditions. In a buyer’s market, it is crucial for sellers to present their property in its best light to stand out from other options and receive bids close to their valuation. Below is the first part of our easy-to-implement top tips for maximising your chances of selling:

  • Always clear clutter. It’s incredible how many properties we’ve viewed which are stunning on the outside, but reminiscent of a bombsite inside. Whilst some prospective buyers have the ability to look past mess and imagine rooms as a blank canvas, clutter always makes rooms feel smaller, which could be a defining factor on whether you receive an offer.
  • Decorating rooms with neutral colours might not be what movers will stick with, but it enables them to envision your house as their home. Your brightly painted walls and patterned wallpapers need to go as they carry far too much of your own personal touch.
  • How many times have you looked at an over-grown lawn with derision, without paying any attention to the property it belongs to? Your green space doesn’t need to be reminiscent of an English Country Garden, but pruning hedges, cutting the grass and planting tasteful, understated flowers can help your property standout against other houses on the street and possible competition.

The House Crowd is a brand new concept in property investment which allows people to invest small amounts via crowdfunding (for more information on the process, visit www. We are committed to breathing life into empty, rundown properties whilst giving investors great returns on their investments (for more information about us, visit www. If you’ve read enough and want to invest now, visit www.

Priced out of owning or investing in property – we can help.

Recent statistics have shown that owning a flat is now on average 7% higher than a year ago forcing many to rethink their dream  of owning or investing in property. Average rental prices have also increased significantly due to increased demand as many would be buyers are unable to find the deposits required to purchase their own home or an investment property.

With  The House Crowd  you can have a foot on the property ladder from as little as £1,000 and see an excellent return on your property  investment.  A great way of saving for that deposit for your own property by investing in property through a crowdfunding property investment model.