AMI: Labour and Tory housebuilding targets both unrealistic

Ryan Bembridge

June 5, 2017

The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries has branded the housebuilding targets of both Labour and the Conservatives ‘unrealistic and impractical’.

The Tories have pledged to finish the job of delivering one million homes in 2020 in England as planned before the 2015 General Election as well as 500,000 more two years later.

Labour meanwhile wants to build a million new homes in five years, including 100,000 new social homes per year.

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In its Quarterly Economic Bulletin for the second quarter of 2016, AMI wrote: “Both parties’ targets are unrealistic and impractical.

“Annual new build dwelling starts in 2016 totalled 153,370. During the same period, completions totalled 140,660, a decrease of 1% compared with 2015.

“Delivering new homes to Britain is critical and high targets are laudable but governments must be practical on how they plan to achieve them.”

The Conservatives only have a chance of delivering one million homes by 2020 if it factors in not only newly constructed homes but also new stock from change of use.

The wording to ‘deliver’ and ‘build’ one million homes are frequently mixed up but depending on which they use they are either a world away from reaching the target or relatively close.

AMI also backed Labour’s plan to extend the Help to Buy equity loan scheme until 2027, which it said was significant in building new homes.

It added: “Labour has said it will extend this to 2027 if elected; it seems sensible to consider an extension under a Conservative government as well.

“Builders are responsible for delivering the new homes promised by politicians and they are motivated by profit margin.

“Help to Buy provides them with much needed certainty at a time when there is little else that can be relied upon.

“The figures bear this out – almost a third of the 405,000 homes built since 2013 – 112,000 – have been bought by families under Help to Buy.

“Arguably this is a higher proportion than we will see over the nextthree years given that lenders have recovered their independent appetite to lend up to 95 per cent loan-to-value.

“However, the value the scheme offers is as a safety net for builders deciding whether to deliver more or fewer new homes.”

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