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Right to buy?

This sounds like the start of an Oxbridge entrance interview question.

Is it right that people should buy a house? Should people have a right to buy? Who are the people? Should everyone have that right and, if so, why is it only certain sectors of the community should have that right conferred on them?

This sounds like the start of an Oxbridge entrance interview question.

If this sort of question comes up, and it is quite possible, the people asked to reply are likely to be young, have expectations and want to be able to answer positively.  However they reply, they will surely hope that if they get the education they want then the result should be that they would be able to buy. First time buyer

“Right to buy” comes from the Conservative manifesto and is a proposal to extend existing right to buy from local authorities to housing association tenants. The housing would be available at a discount.

In politics the equation is always the balance between winners and losers and trying to make sure there are more for the former than the latter. Those who are not in housing association accommodation will feel hard done by because they miss out on what could be a bargain.

The calculation from the Conservatives was probably that the coalition had done quite a lot with right to buy and the recently announced help to buy Individual Saving Accounts (ISAs).  There was also another announcement of affordable homes to be sold at a 20% discount to first time buyers under 40.  The trouble is that the housing association right to buy policy was so eye catching, no doubt because of its Thatcher overtones, that all the other items were drowned out.

In itself right to buy is all about people taking responsibility for themselves.

The good thing is that the whole issue of housing, and affordable housing for young people, is very much on the agenda. However, for the Conservatives the latest polling is not positive. In the last YouGov poll  (The Times 16 April) only 28% felt that this was a good policy.

This might lead voters overall to believe that right to buy seems to be more of a bargain than the benefit from an affordable discount home or top ups to ISAs.

Of course the main thing at issue here is the need to build lots more homes and freeing up brownfield sites to help. Being able to own your home at an affordable price is essentially about supply.

None of these things is going to happen in a hurry so in the meantime potential young owners will want to look hard at the savings options.

They may also want to talk with parents to see if they are considering taking advantage of the new pensions freedoms to take more cash from their pension pots. If they are, a real option could be to lodge some cash with the Family Building Society to help with a Family Mortgage.

All of this depends on whether young people think it is right for them to buy – something that is a good idea to talk to a financial adviser or mortgage adviser about.

Elections are all about choice. The Family Building Society is about choice in making the best decisions for families in the increasingly complex work of personal finance and financial planning. We have answers that even the Oxbridge Dons would have to admit fully meet the requirements.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage

By Jonathan Haslam

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