Just as they were getting comfortable, last week MPs and Peers left Westminster for their long summer break. As the housing crisis rumbles on, the property industry is afforded no such luxury. However, this week there were a series of important announcements of interest to the industry.
Parliament announced a new All-Party Parliamentary Group for Housing and Planning, David Cameron promised a clamp down on “dirty money” in the property market and the new House of Lords Select Committee on National Policy for the Built Environment made a call for evidence.
Rally the troop

The new, or more accurately re-established, All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Housing and Planning was announced on Monday 27th July. It is supported by the Royal Institute for Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and is chaired by James Cartlidge, MP for South Suffolk. The APPG brings together MPs from across the political spectrum and includes cross-bench peers. It is tasked with finding ways to increase the housing supply in all areas of the market. A former incarnation of this group was chaired by the controversial Tim Yeo.
Shortly after his election as the group’s new Chair, James Cartlidge commented that housing is fast becoming “one of the most critical policy challenges” and RICS added that we need somewhere in the region of 245,000 homes a year. This comes as it was announced the average cost of a home for first-time buyers increased by £138 a day in June.
Stop the launders and plunderers
While busy playing salesman for the UK in Asia, David Cameron vowed to clampdown on so-called “dirty money” in the UK property market. Speaking from squeaky clean Singapore, Cameron warned of maleficent characters buying properties with “plundered or laundered cash”. One in 10 homes in the City of Westminster is said to be owned by companies registered offshore.
Most importantly for the industry, Cameron has promised a central public land registry of foreign companies, to make it easier to search for deeds.
And if all else fails, establish a committee
Not to be outdone, a call for evidence was issued this weekfrom the new House of Lords Select Committee on National Policy for the Built Environment, which is examining the balance between localism and the national demand for housing. Those interested are invited to submit evidence by Tuesday October 6th. The committee is set to examine policy a raft of policy some of which has not been visited since the Town and County Planning Act 1947. The committee’s sweeping examination will directly impact the real estate sector as it will look at how national policy affects local authorities, planners, developers and infrastructure providers.