Housing Set To Be a Big Focus of the Budget

With the budget set to be announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond today, the housing market is set to come under the spotlight, with many predicting that the 2017 budget will focus heavily on housing and construction. The budget will highlight what changes can be expected, as well as highlighting how the Government aims to tackle certain housing related issues.

The Budget

The chancellor is looking to increase the amount of homes being built to 300,000 each year, having previously suggested that building affordable homes is one of his main priorities in relation to the budget.  As well as the creation of new homes, the chancellor is likely to clamp down on those holding onto pieces of land for the purposes of future property investment and the banks that are refusing to lend money to smaller builders. With this in mind, the Chancellor has previously told the Sunday Times Newspaper that the Government will do ‘whatever it takes’ to ensure the production of new homes.

He has also recently suggested that there will be approximately £5 billion set aside for housing schemes, as well as promising that infrastructure will be put into place to cater to the building of new homes. Recent figures show that there were 217,000 more homes built this year than last year, but that has not stopped the chancellor aiming for the 300,000 mark, with him recently stating that this would help to tackle the countries affordability issues, as well as ensuring that the younger generation will be prosperous in the future.

Minimising Property Building Restrictions

The country is currently seeing record numbers of planning permissions being granted, at a much faster rate than actual homes are being built. The Government now seems more determined than ever before to take steps to help increase the rate at which houses are produced, including intervening at various stages of the process.

Chancellor Philip Hammond commented, saying: ‘We will not be afraid to intervene to do whatever it takes to close the gap. If it’s infrastructure that’s needed to unlock housing, we’ll build the infrastructure. If it’s financial viability that’s needed, we will intervene to remediate sites and make otherwise marginally non-viable sites viable. We’ve got to make sure our banks are willing to lend to small house builders and if necessary we will stand behind that lending.’

It appears that the Chancellor has taken all advice and feedback on board in the build up to the budget, taking into consideration a wide variety of points put forward by various parties. After considering the planning process, local councils and utility companies, combined with a significant lack of lending, it is clear to see what exactly is holding up the development of new homes.