What does the Budget do for housing?
In his Autumn Budget statement, Chancellor Phillip Hammond said the housing market needed to be fixed, adding it was key to boosting UK productivity and living standards. With the UK facing a shortage of housing, what did the Budget say it was going to do about housing?
- Stamp Duty has been abolished for first-time buyers buying a home worth up to £300,000. It is also being abolished for first-time buyers of shared ownership properties worth up to £500,000. With more than 200,000 shared ownership properties in the UK it is hoped this measure will boost awareness of the scheme.
- The Help to Buy scheme has been extended for a further two years. It was due to end in 2021, but will now be available until 2023.
- £675 million will be made available to help councils transform retail zones. For example, un-used commercial buildings in High Streets could be turned into homes with a consultation to be held on how to simplify the process of achieving this.
- An extra £500 million has been promised for the Housing Infrastructure Fund. This could help build up to 650,000 homes. A deal with nine housing associations will also deliver 13,000 homes and money will also be provided to help up to 500 neighbourhoods allocate land for housing which will be sold to local people at a discount.
- And to encourage small and medium-sized enterprises into building houses, the Chancellor has announced up to £1 billion of British business bank guarantees.
John Lambert, Managing Director at Forticrete, says: “Once again it was no surprise that housing featured heavily in the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget. The Government continues to be under pressure to increase the number of houses being built.
“The additional funding to help build 650,000 homes, as well as the deal with housing associations for 13,000 houses, reaffirms its commitment to house the ever-growing population. Speed of build is going to be an important aspect of meeting the targets being outlined. And there is a risk that housebuilders could face lengthy waits due to shortages of popular building materials.
“There are a variety of roof tile options, for example, such as those made from concrete, which recreates the look of traditional slate without compromising on aesthetics. Anticipating the growth in demand, suppliers, like ourselves, have invested consistently over the last decade to bring additional roof tile capacity to the market. Not only does this ensure housebuilders attempting to address the housing shortage have the products they need but so too do the architects looking to ensure their projects enhance the visual appeal of the built environment.
“It is obvious that the government is taking serious steps to get Britain building but the pressure is on and whether the Chancellor’s proposals come to fruition remains to be seen.”