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60K House Competition a distraction from real house-building issues, claims RICS

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The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has claimed that the ODPM's 60K House Competition ignores the real issues blighting UK house building.

The industry authority has claimed that the government has created a 'climate of uncertainty' for investors and that its high-profile contest to build a home for £60,000 is little more than a distraction.

The RICS has advised that issues such as taxation on development, improvements in the compulsory purchase order (CPO) process, and a proper understanding of the needs of sustainable communities, need to be dealt with first.

As the initial results of the 60K competition were unveiled late last week (see article here), the RICS could only welcome the proposals in theory.

A sceptical Joe Martin, executive director of the building cost information service at RICS, said: 'If these designs can be delivered within budget they will produce better houses and improved value for money.'

However, he claimed the houses could only work where there was 'available land and real demand'.

The RICS has also issued a call to arms over the improvement of UK housing stock - especially in terms of bringing empty homes back into use.

by Rob Sharp

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