The Autumn Statement: House-building after Brexit
Over 5 months on and Brexit is still rather a touchy subject. American politics has taken emphasis away from the ‘elephant in the room’ over the last few weeks, but Wednesday's autumn statement made us face it head on again.
The commotion and battering between political parties and soap box twitter junkies was rife as chancellor Philip Hammond delivered his Post Brexit gloomy economic forecast, and shattered the dream of the conservative parties ‘Long Term Economic Plan’ to get the British budget into surplus by 2020 - due in part to the EU referendum result.
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast more government borrowing (up to £122bn more than forecast in March’s budget) and a 2.4% lower economic growth projected, as investment and output have both decreased after the Brexit vote.
It has been a nervous wait for the housing industry to hear this statement. The industry was hit suddenly after the Brexit vote, with uncertainty from investors on the potential outlook for the economy. However, with Mr Hammond’s budget coming the day before Thanks Giving, the housebuilding industry will no doubt have been feeling thankful as the chancellor announced the government’s aim to boost infrastructure and housebuilding amid the negative outlook.
Some of the measures included:
- A £2.3 billion housing infrastructure fund for up to 100,000 new homes in areas of high demand, and £1.4 billion for 40,000 additional affordable homes.
- Grant restrictions will be relaxed to allow housing providers to deliver a wider range of homes for affordable rent and low cost ownership.
- As part of a series of announcements on devolution of greater power to regional government, including infrastructure and transport investments in the north, the chancellor announced a package of £3.15bn for London to build 90,000 affordable homes.
- A Large scale regional pilot of the right to buy extension to social housing.
It is encouraging to see investment prioritised to support the delivery of much needed new homes particularly in those areas with the highest demand. However we await to see the eligibility criteria of the fund to understand its full impact on the industry.
What were your thoughts on the Autumn Statement? Let us know in the comments below…
Two weeks in, we take a look at the pros and cons of the UK's vote to leave the European Union, as well as industry insider's opinions and the effect Brexit has had, so far, on the industry & economy.
Good news for the housing industry as Osborne announces investment of almost £7bn in housebuilding and is set to deliver 400,000 ‘affordable homes’ in England to put the crisis of home ownership as…
Since we began our membership with the British Property Federation (BPF), we have been in touch with them to discuss the current UK Housing Crisis and the emerging Build-to-Rent market.