Autumn statement – more reaction

Autumn statement – more reaction

Industry has continued to react to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement in which £3.7bn was promised to help the construction of new homes.  

Spencer McCarthy, Churchill Retirement Living’s Chairman & CEO: “There’s not a great deal in Mr Hammond’s statement that we weren’t expecting. It’s good to see the Government committed to funding new housing and infrastructure. However, focusing too narrowly on more affordable housing and homes for first time buyers alone will not solve the housing crisis.

“I hope the upcoming Housing White Paper will provide a lot more detail on how the Government plans to address the challenges of a growing and rapidly ageing population. With around 8 million over 60s interested in downsizing, there’s a huge potential supply of under-occupied family homes that could be benefiting the younger generation all over the UK. The Autumn Statement contained nothing on Stamp Duty, planning reforms or other initiatives to support the provision of more specialist retirement housing which would help unlock that potential.”

David Jervis, Managing Director of Spitfire Bespoke Homes: “The initiatives detailed in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement rightly put housing at the center of the economy. Any measure that helps to increase the supply and availability, at an affordable price, of good quality housing is to be welcomed.

“The current housing crisis spans all tenures and levels of the market because of a fundamental lack of available homes. The Chancellor’s measures offer some relief to parts of the market but we hope that additional measures in the upcoming White Paper on housing will bring a further and more wholesale boost to the property market.”

“It will take time for the measures announced to increase supply into the housing market. It is important that the Government makes these initiatives as transparent and easily accessible as possible, so that potential homeowners reap the benefit as soon as possible.”

Ian Ruthven, Managing Director of Barratt Developments Yorkshire West: “It’s good to see continued government focus on housing supply, it is vital that more new homes of all types are built to tackle our housing shortage – though we must make sure quality doesn’t suffer as quantity increases.

“We welcome the additional infrastructure funding to encourage growth in areas of high demand – it remains important that authorities in those areas plan positively for growth and bring forward land for new homes.”

Mark Sismey-Durrant, Chief Executive Officer at Hampshire Trust Bank: “The injection of funding for housebuilding that has been announced is encouraging news for first-time buyers looking to get a foot in the door of the housing market, as well as those looking for more choice in rented accommodation. The number of new homes currently being built is significantly below the level needed to meet demand, so it is crucial we focus on boosting supplies. We believe SME housebuilders are key in helping to fill the housing gap and specialist banks, such as Hampshire Trust Bank, play a crucial role in providing finance to this important sector.”

Julia Evans, BSRIA Chief Executive: “The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has delivered his first and last autumn statement containing a comprehensive raft of policies that will support both members and the construction industry at large. Indeed, his announcements on housing, innovation and regional and local infrastructure will help business across the UK to invest with greater confidence for the long-term which is welcomed by BSRIA. However, it was disappointing to see no mention of the environment.

The Chancellor’s strong emphasis on the development needs of our cities, regions and nations is a confident and helpful step that sends out the right message for members and the industry based at all points across the country.”

Claire Fallows, Partner at Charles Russell Speechlys: “The £2.3bn housing infrastructure fund is a welcome announcement. It’s good to see the Government recognise that demand is higher in certain areas and that public funds are best directed to these areas.

“But as ever, the devil is in the detail. High interest rates or stringent demands to spend the funds within a specified time period could hamper the effectiveness of the policy. The sector will be looking forward to further details within the Housing White Paper, especially around starter homes and the response to the review of community infrastructure levy.”


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