Spring Statement 2018: Hammond updates on plans to create 300,000 new homes a year

Spring Statement 2018: Hammond updates on plans to create 300,000 new homes a year

 

Philip Hammond has pledged £44bn to focus on pushing housing supply up to 300,000 a year, by the mid-2020s.

He today revealed in the Spring Statement the government is currently working with 44 authorities who have bid into the £4.1bn housing infrastructure fund announced at the Budget, which has been created to unlock home supply in areas of high demand.

And housing deals are now being concluded with authorities that have agreed to deliver above their local housing needs.

Hammond said an agreement has now been reached in the West Midlands to create 215,000 homes by 2030/31, with the help of a £100m grant from the land remediation fund.

He said the housing minister is set to make more of these announcements in the next few days.

The chancellor also revealed that the housing growth partnership with Lloyds Banking Group, designed to release finances for small builders, has been doubled to £220m.

London is to also receive an additional £1.7bn to deliver an extra 26,000 affordable homes, taking the total to 116,00 by the end of 2122.

The full report on the gap between planning permissions granted and housing completions is to be presented at the Budget, the chancellor confirmed, as initial findings have been released.

The chancellor also revealed that 60,000 first time buyers have benefited from the stamp duty relief announced in November’s Budget.

 

More help called for to boost supply and transaction numbers

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and former RICS residential chairman, said: “We welcome the Chancellor’s reiteration of the importance of the housing market and how tackling the housing crisis is key to all other economic policies, with particular reference to longer-term building projects and trying to address capacity issues by giving further assistance to apprenticeships.

“However, at grass roots level what we are really lacking is supply and transaction numbers.

“If these were to be improved, on the one hand it would keep property prices in check and on the other it would generate real benefits for not just the housing market but for the economy as a whole.

‘The stamp duty concessions have definitely prompted more interest among first-time buyers, who are often taking the place of investors at the lower end of the market.

“But further help is needed to make a real difference, not just at the bottom end of the market but right through to the top end if we are to achieve genuine growth.”

However, the lack of major announcements in today’s Spring Statement was applauded by Matt Tooth, chief commercial officer at LendInvest.

He said: “The absence of a major policy shakeup in the chancellor’s statement today is precisely what the industry needed.

“Rather than wasting time adapting to the step changes we’ve become used to seeing, lenders and developers alike can get on with what they do best, getting more homes built across the UK.

“This is a clear opportunity for industry and government to get the funding mechanisms that are already in place, such as the Home Building Fund and British Business Bank, working harder to increase the supply of much needed capital to SME homebuilders around the country.”