One of the UK's largest property companies really hates Conservative right-to-buy proposals

Emma Haslett
Follow Emma
The plans are "short-termist" and "bad policy", said JLL (Source: Getty)

On the whole, those at the top end of the property sector are a pretty conservative bunch - particularly when it comes to politics. After all, alienating those in control of your destiny is a fool's errand when you deal in something as politically sensitive as homes.

So eyebrows in the property sector were raised when JLL, one of the UK's largest property services firms, came out strongly against the Conservatives' new right-to-buy manifesto pledge.

In a statement today, the company slammed the plans, which will extend the right-to-buy scheme to housing association tenants.

"The expansion of right-to-buy... represents terrible policy," said Adam Challis, head of residential research at JLL.

"This is exactly the kind of short-termist thinking that the countries' 4.7m households in social housing don’t need, not to mention the same number again of aspiring owners in private renting.

"Right to Buy benefits a select few while condemning the vast majority to longer waiting lists and fewer choices. At a time when we are building barely half the homes this country needs, we need a government that is interested in genuine solutions to the housing crisis rather than cheap vote-winners.”

But it didn't stop there. Richard Petty, head of affordable housing at the company, also waded in.

"This is bad politics as well as bad policy. This worked well in 1979, but voters are too astute to be swayed by the same policy card played twice."

He pointed out that the UK is currently building less than a tenth of new homes needed each year, echoing National Housing Federation chief David Orr, who dubbed the policy a "hollow promise".

"Since the coalition revived the RTB in 2012 the promises of one new affordable home built for each one sold have proved hollow and, without change in the policy, there is no reason why it should be any different after this election.

"We think this will mean fewer affordable homes being built rather than more, and this policy could therefore backfire spectacularly on the government for the sake of a few extra votes in this election.”

Related articles