Yesterday’s housing strategy document managed to pull together a few coherent ideas on how to stimulate housing supply and demand.
But it was no game changer and not the housing revolution promised by the Prime Minister several months ago.
Essentially, the Government is banking on pulling a few key market levers to tackle the deepest housing crisis for decades.
Given time and a stable market backdrop they would probably work – the problem is the country needs more in the current financial climate.
The economy is balanced on a knife edge. Any further job losses will undermine buyer confidence and cause volume house builders to proceed with even more caution than they currently are.
The Government’s public land sale, mortgage indemnity cover, revamped right-to-buy scheme and cash handouts for stalled schemes are good ideas.
But they won’t even start to see the light of day before April and will probably take one or two years before their impact is felt.
And by then the country’s housing figures will be a horror story.
The housing document is noticeably devoid of numbers and a strategy without targets starts to look more like a wish list rather than a real policy.
Many of the housing market’s problems will be resolved if we simply build more homes.
This would be welcome news to trade contractors who have no idea where the next job is coming from as housing starts bump along at half the level seen in the peak years.
The Government has woefully failed to grasp an opportunity to use the housing market as its most powerful lever to drive economic growth and jobs.
Clever tinkering in the market is welcome.
But imaginative thinking must also be channeled into ways of financing directly a new era of house building rather than playing around the edges of the problem.