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Budget 2014: Industry optimism on H2B1 extension

Nia Williams

March 19, 2014

The Chancellor confirmed that the Help to Buy equity loan scheme will be extended for the rest of the decade to ensure £120,000 new homes are built.

He said: “In the South East where the pressure is greatest we’re going to build new homes in Barking Riverside, regenerate Brent Cross, and build the first new Garden City in almost a hundred years at Ebbsfleet.

“We’re going to build 15,000 homes there, put in the infrastructure, set up the development corporation and make it happen.”

Mark Graves, head of Pink Network, was pleased with the announcement.

He said: “The measures around Help to Buy in this Budget should give brokers the confidence now to invest in their businesses.

“The housing measures will help to boost consumer confidence and the money being put into new housing, which the Chancellor claims will support over 200,000 new homes, will go some small way to helping to ease the supply and demand imbalance.”

Stephen Smith, director of mortgage club and housing at Legal and General, agreed that the announcement will ease the pressure on supply.

He said: “Today’s initiative is what is required to stimulate much needed new home building to keep supply in line with demand.

“Without it, house prices will increase as demand outstrips supply and the market will stagnate.”

Charles Haresnape, managing director of Aldermore Bank’s residential mortgages stressed that more needs to be done now however.

He said: “It is also important that more sellers are encouraged into the market as these new houses will not be ready for some time.

“We need more housing now. It is imperative the government does not lose momentum on this issue.”

Godfrey Blight, director for Crown Mortgage Management, agreed that housing supply measures could go further.

He said: “While it’s good news for targeted areas such as Ebbsfleet, Brent Cross and Barking Riverside, there isn’t any substantial news that will increase the supply of properties throughout the country coming on to the market.

“What we really need to see is a sustainable move on stamp duty to get more people selling to increase supply and ease house prices from over-heating.”

Mike Spencer, managing director at Connells Asset Management, was positive but also wary of a property bubble.

He said: “Of course, no one wants to see another property bubble and any scheme needs to be closely monitored.

“But increasing the number of new homes available is a more effective way of controlling house prices while simultaneously helping buyers, especially first-time buyers, and stimulating the housing market.”


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