Sarah McMonagle, Director of External Affairs at the FMB, said that even prior to the referendum vote, the Government faced an uphill struggle to meet its own target of building one million homes by the end of this Parliament.
The number of annual completions have risen steadily over the past couple of years, but not sufficiently to suggest that there is any margin for error when it comes to the Government’s attempt to increase output.
"It’s still too early to tell what effect the decision to Brexit will have but it stands to reason that any wobbles in the house building industry will inevitably have a profound effect on our ability to hit that target," she said. "It’s therefore essential that the Government is aware of the risks and does everything in its power to mitigate those risks.”
“While we’ve been encouraged by the suggestion from the new PM that she will continue to prioritise housing, we need more than just words – we need bold new policy interventions.
"As Shelter’s report identifies, there’s a compelling case for turbo-charging the SME house building sector, which policy makers have started to recognise is key to reaching the levels of house building that we need. Some progress is being made in terms of reforming the planning process and improving access to finance for smaller firms but there’s much more that the Government can and should be doing.
"Over and above Shelter’s recommendations to the Government, we’re calling on Ministers to lift the borrowing on local authorities and allow councils to be significant house builders once more. This will help calm any confidence wobbles among private developers and put the house building industry back on track, helping us reach that target of one million homes.”
The number of newly built homes has increased 6% in the past year, new figures released today (25 August 2016) show.
The latest house building data shows that 139,030 new homes were completed in the year to June and have continued to build gradually over the last 2 years. More than 144,280 homes were started in the year to June 2016.
Meanwhile, figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show there are more first-time buyers than at any time since 2007, with 72,800 in England in the second quarter of 2016. Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said: "We’ve got the country building again with more new homes started and built than this time last year.
"This is real progress but there is much more to do. That’s why we are going further and increasing our investment in house building to ensure many more people can benefit."
Source: Specification Online