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Housing Market: Regeneration

Volume 465: debated on Thursday 25 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what research has been commissioned by (a) Housing Market Renewal Pathfinders and (b) her Department into property speculation in Pathfinder areas earmarked for demolition. (157496)

As part of an ongoing national evaluation of the market renewal programme by Ecotec commissioned by the Government, a paper on buy-to-let activity was published in March 2007: “National Evaluation of Housing Market Renewal Pathfinders: Thematic Paper: Buy-to-Let Housing Market in the HMR Pathfinders”.

The thematic paper identified an increase in private investor activity within pathfinder areas since the implementation of the housing market renewal strategy. The emergence of this group of investors has had the impact of diversifying the structure of ownership within pathfinder areas. Commitment to the area has remained strong with the Association of residential Letting Agents (ARLA) reporting in 2004 that nearly two-thirds of respondents expected to hold their stock for at least 10 years and less than 10 per cent. would sell if house prices were to fall.

We and the pathfinders will continue to review market conditions as a fundamental part of establishing strong housing markets across pathfinder areas.