As part of the Autumn Budget the Chancellor announced a number of measures designed to boost housebuilding activity and help achieve their pledge of delivering 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s.
This target cannot be achieved by volume housebuilders alone, so the question is will the measures contained in the Autumn Budget better support SME housebuilders?
So far, the industry reaction to the Autumn Budget is mixed and the jury is out on whether it will achieve its goals.
While Lewis Johnston, Parliamentary Affairs Officer at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, accepts that some positive steps have been taken, he says the proposals put forward “amount to series of marginal and delayed nudges at a time when housing supply needs an almighty immediate shove”.
On the other hand, the House Builders Association “believes that, if implemented fully, the budget’s ambition to increase house building can deliver immediate results”.
So, what does the Autumn Budget propose that could possibly help SME housebuilders?
There are many measures included that, if implemented, could potentially help but the reforms proposed around planning could be key, this includes measures designed to boost the availability of land and making better use of underused land in towns and cities.
Interestingly, the Government states it will consult on measures that will ensure “local authorities bring forward 20% of their housing supply as small sites”, in a bid to speed up the building of new homes and support the aim of “increasing competition in the house building market”.
We believe the Government is right to put the SME housebuilder at the heart of their housing strategy. However, with the Autumn Budget building on measures included in the Housing White Paper, which was released earlier this year, the question is whether these plans will result in action.
We await the outcome of these new measures with interest and hope they result in enabling SME housebuilders to get on with the job in hand and build more much-needed homes.
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Managing Director of Property Finance
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