In response to today’s Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, Clair Prosser, BSRIA Press Officer, said:
“It is refreshing to see that The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has delivered a comprehensive raft of policies that will boost house building which will support both members and the construction industry at large. Indeed, his announcements ‘to make good on our promise’ on housing, will make Britain ‘fit for the future’.
The housing industry is set to receive £44bn in financial incentives to increase supply to 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s, the biggest annual increase in housing supply since 1970. But BSRIA stresses that: quantity must not be at the cost of quality.
The Chancellor announced that £10bn more would be available as a Help to Buy equity loan and £8bn in new financial guarantees to support private housebuilding and the purpose-built private rented sector.
He also announced a £2.7bn pot to more than double the Housing Infrastructure Fund and a £1.1bn fund to unlock strategic sites, including new settlements and urban regeneration schemes – ‘where most people want to live’ and where jobs are created. It is also the ‘best use of the land’ and saves building on the precious green belt.
To help first-time buyers get on the property ladder, he announced the immediate abolition of stamp duty on all first-time buyer purchases up to £300,000.
The Chancellor said: ‘when we say we will revive the home-owning dream in Britain, we mean it. We do not underestimate the scale of the challenge, but today, we have made substantial down payment’.
But members and industry will only really be encouraged when we start to see a spade in the ground. Certainly – the smoke signals look good but we must truly start to think big.
BSRIA is also pleased to see a high profile given to raising the game for investment in construction skills with £34 million being pledged for investment. But – as ever – we need to see this turned into a reality.
The UK’s housing crisis is, without a shadow of doubt, one of the biggest challenges we face as a country and such investment is needed to attract, train and retain workers to build the houses we need.”