Philip Hammond has delivered his second Budget as chancellor, outlining how and where the nation’s money will be spent over the next year. The Autumn Budget 2017 put the house building industry under the spotlight, with Hammond announcing measures to fix the dysfunctional market, restore the dream of home ownership for a new generation and put small and medium-sized builders at the heart of the ambitious plans. With so many new measures being introduced, do you really know how the budget will impact your business, as well as, the housing industry? Here is a clear breakdown:
House building budget:
Over £15 billion of new financial support for house building over the next five years, bringing total support for housing to at least £44 billion over this period. It introduces planning reforms to ensure more land is available for housing and that the country is maximising the potential of its towns and cities to build new homes.
The new financial support for house building will be divided into the following:
Building more homes:
Hammonds budget and the Housing White Paper, put the UK on track to raise housing supply to 300,000 per year, on average, by the mid-2020s.
Alongside the financial support set out above, the budget confirms the additional £10 billion for the Help to Buy Equity Loan. The government announced initiatives to support first-time buyers including abolishing stamp duty for those purchasing properties worth up to £300,000.
The budget confirms a further £2 billion provided for affordable housing and emphasizes on lifting Housing Revenue Account borrowing caps for councils in areas of high affordability pressure, enabling more council homes to be built.
Construction Skills gap:
As the UK faces growing construction skill shortages, the government will provide £34 million to introduce innovative training models throughout the country, including a particular focus on construction in the National Retraining Scheme, a scheme which the government hope to aid in boosting the UK’s productivity.
The chancellor announced a review into planning permission delays with tougher consequences where planned homes are not being built. Hammond will consult on various factors in order to speed up the process, including removing the exemptions from the deemed discharge rules.
The reforms above will ensure more land is available for housing. The government look to strengthening the ability for land to be taken out of a plan when there are no planning application prospects.
What does this mean for SME Builders?
Brian Berry Chief Executive of the FMB believes the Chancellor has listened to the needs of SME builders and has delivered a ‘budget for builders’. The reforms in which the government has set out should enable small builders to deliver more of the new homes Britain so badly needs.
Read the full report here
Read the FMB full press release here