Building Industry Welcomes UKs New Housing Bill
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Building Industry Welcomes UKs New Housing Bill

posted in News by Skippy on 12:18 Jul 13th, 2015

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A new housing bill is being introduced by the government which aims to create thousands of new homes designed exclusively for the growing number of first time buyers who are aged below 40. The news came in the Queens speech as she opened the new parliament at the end of May.

New Housing Bill Will Help First Time Buyers

The speech included a range of issues which relate to the building industry and property markets, causing a positive and optimistic reaction from companies across the sector.

The new starter homes for first time buyers will be offered at a 20% discount below their open market value and the current Right to Buy levels of discount will be extended to 1.3 million housing association tenants.

To help deal with the shortage of affordable housing local authorities will be required to remove any high value council houses which are vacant and would help fund the Right to Buy extension discounts and the building of more homes for first time buyers.

A statutory register for brownfield land will also be introduced to help reach the target of getting Local Development Orders in place on 90% of suitable brownfield sites by 2020. The neighbourhood planning system will also be made less complicated and accelerated to support local communities which require new housing and other development.

So far the reaction of the news from both housing and property development companies and industry bodies has been of full support for the plans, as all agree that there is currently a massive shortage of housing for younger people, particularly in London.

However, Adrian Gill, director of Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agents, questioned whether these new schemes were aiming high enough. “Building a home in Britain is about 18% more expensive than in Ireland, for example. Preliminaries like planning fees account for 12% of the total costs in the UK, compared to 10% in Ireland. Reforming the red tape surrounding the house building process may be one of the only safeguards around steadier house price rises,” he said.
“Home ownership is still a key life milestone and aspiration for UK households, so any measures that bring this goal closer into view will be very welcome. The Right to Buy extension sounds good on paper – but we’ve yet to see how this will translate in practice, and the reality is that authorities will have to sell off existing stock first before they can fund and deliver this new promised land of affordable properties,” he explained.

“At the same time, tenant demand for housing will be accumulating, and this could spill over into the private rented sector, and artificially push up prices and competition for rental homes,” he added

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