The chancellor Philip Hammond announced a range of housing measures in his first Autumn Statement, including £1.4bn of cash to help build 40,000 new affordable homes, as well as a reflexion of rules around how affordable housing money can be used which should help to diversify the housing mix, with a view to creating the homes that people want and need.
With the number of new homes being built across the UK still significantly below the level needed to meet demand, housebuilders are often accused of sitting on land with planning consent and not building to help drive up house prices as well as rents.
But the reality is that in order to increase the supply of much needed new build homes across the country, more actually needs to be done to help alleviate the challenges and obstacles facing residential property developers.
The failure to construct enough homes means that Britain’s housing shortage has now reached crisis point, with the number of prospective buyers and renters dramatically outweighing the volume of homes on the market.
But while the fresh funding injection for housebuilding is welcome news, Mark Hayward, managing director, National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) insists that it is “painfully short” of the volume of new homes needed.
He said: “The creation of 40,000 new homes that this new funding is expected to deliver is still painfully short of the number of affordable homes we need to solve the housing crisis and get first time buyers on the housing ladder.”
“It is vital that the government has a radical rethink in its housing strategy and consider measures such as building homes on unused Green Belt land to really kick start the house building boom we badly need,” he added.”
The severe shortage of properties in this country will almost certainly drive house prices upwards across the UK in the medium to long term.