Phillip Hammond has made a clear commitment to housebuilding and development in his Autumn Budget, which featured an extended segment discussing his housing plans in detail.
The headline figure is that Hammond has pledged £44billion in government support, in the form of loans and capital funding. He continued to reveal more about the breakdown of this pledge, including £2billion for the housing infrastructure fund, £1.1billion to unlock strategic sites, and £8billion to support the private housebuilding sector.
Hammond asserted that the SME housebuilding sector needs more supporting, or Britain ‘will remain dependent on the major national housebuilders who dominate the industry’. It was not made clear exactly how this would be done, but the signs are positive for SME developers.
Hammond pledged a long-term goal of building 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s. He also went into detail on the nature of the housebuilding he feels needs to be carried out to best benefit the country. He called for high quality, high density homes in city centres and around major transport hubs, with more homes for first time buyers and local renters. First time buyers were a key feature of the Budget, as the Chancellor expressed his ambition to help them on to the ladder. Home ownership in the 25-34 year old age bracket has dropped to 37% in the last 13 years.
He also referenced five new locally agreed garden towns, to be delivered through public-private partnerships. Hammond promised a million homes in these area, and also stressed the importance of investing in the infrastructure surrounding these areas. Furthermore, the government will invest in boosting the supply of skilled housebuilders to implement these ambitious plans.
In other key housing news, stamp duty was abolished immediately for first-time buyers purchasing properties worth up to £300,000. For those buying in expensive areas such as London , the first £300,000 of a £500,000 purchase by all first-time buyers will be exempt.