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LONDON-Britain should adopt European style mortgages that offer fixed rates over the whole term. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors says this system would make it easier for families to plan for the future; make greater use of tax measures to control the turmoil that spiralling house prices bring, and not be afraid to knock down failing housing rather than throw good money after bad says RICS, the leading property and construction organisation.

A wide-ranging review of housing in England and Wales published by the RICS makes a number of recommendations. It claims it is aiming at bringing about greater choice and flexibility to encourage strong neighbourhoods and create a flourishing market.

The recommendations include questioning whether all badly run-down neighbourhoods are sustainable and whether every neighbourhood can be regenerated. RICS would like to see a rebalancing of regeneration policies through a policy of ‘invest in the best’ rather than ‘worst first’ to prevent decline rather than seek to fix it at a late stage It also wants the Government to support the greater use of tax rather than interest rates as a means of controlling volatility in house prices.

Chairman of the RICS housing policy panel, Michael Newey, said: “It is ten years since RICS last looked in detail housing. The fact that the homes which will be around at the end of this century have already probably been built says much about present housing policy.”

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