House Market Update

April 22nd 2014
By: Melanie Hollidge

Before the Budget, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the Help to Buy scheme for new houses would be extended to 2020.  This has given reassurances to house builders to bring forward plans for sites to be developed.  It is anticipated that an additional 120,000 people will then be able to buy a home.
Whilst concerns have been raised about the market ‘overheating’, Mr Osborne is asking the Bank of England to ‘be vigilant on house prices’ and has announced more reforms to improve the continuing supply of new homes.
During the last two years, it has been mainly the larger house builders who have had the finances to develop new build projects.  The government is creating a £500m Builders Finance Fund to assist small and medium sized builders who historically may have found it harder to secure finances through the banks. 
Regeneration of big housing estates will be helped through the £150m fund from the government – available as repayable loans, it will boost the housing supply with the creation and development of mixed tenure developments.
As well as this, the planning restrictions and laws are to be reformed which will allow the conversion of buildings like warehouses and light industrial premises, to residential use, without the need for planning approval.
Measures in the Budget clearly indicate the government’s commitment to increase the supply of much needed new homes.