Further housing measures called for as Government announces new build investment


The Government’s announcement that it plans to invest £5bn to promote new house building has been welcomed in the industry, although commentators say that it won’t go far enough.

At the Conservatory Party Conference, chancellor Philip Hammond and communities secretary Sajid Javid unveiled plans to invest £5bn in the building of new homes, including £3bn in a new Home Building Fund scheme, which they say will lead to the development of 225,000 homes.

Homeowners Alliance chief executive Paula Higgins says the Government is “finally recognising that building new homes is where they need to focus to create a sustainable economy.”

“We would remind Ministers and home builders that it is also their moral duty to build homes that are fit for purpose; so high quality homes that meet the requirements of not only first time buyers but of last time buyers as well”, she says.

“We must build homes people would be proud to live in, not that make the most profit for the builder,” says Higgins.

“More homes will not be enough to tackle the ever widening gap between wages and house prices and needs to look at ways to help the current generation that is priced out.”

Yorkshire Building Society chief economist Andrew McPhillips says: “Insufficient levels of house building over the years have driven up house prices, making homes unaffordable for many so it is vital the government addresses this issue.

“Speeding up the house building process by providing funding for smaller house builders and making more brownfield land available to developers will go some way towards tackling the 1.2m housing deficit the UK has accumulated by missing house building targets since 2004.”

However, he says it is crucial that the Government strikes a balance in the type of homes being built.

“The Government is right to support those looking to buy their own property but the needs of those wishing to rent at affordable prices should not be entirely overlooked either.”