West Midlands authorities have agreed to deliver 215,000 homes by 2031, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced in the Spring Statement today.
Hammond said he’s currently working with 44 authorities who are bidding for the government’s £4.1bn housing infrastructure fund to unlock housing in areas of high demand.
He said: “We have just agreed a deal with the West Midlands who have committed to deliver 215,000 homes by 2031 facilitated by a £100m grant from the land remediation fund.
“The housing minister will make further announcements over the next few days on the hosing infrastructure fund.
“We will more than double the size of the housing growth partnership with Lloyds Banking Group to £220m, providing additional finance for small builders.”
London will also receive £1.7bn to deliver a further 26,000 affordable homes, including homes for social rent.
Hammond went on to say that 60,000 first-time buyers have benefited from the stamp duty cut he made in the Autumn Statement last November.
And he reaffirmed the government’s commitment to up housing supply by 300,000 a year by the mid-2020s.
Neil Knight, business development director at Spicerhaart Part Exchange & Assisted Move, welcomed the news.
He said: “It is very encouraging that the West Midlands is receiving such a substantial grant.
“Following the Spicerhaart group’s latest acquisition Staffordshire based estate agency business butters john bee, we have widened our coverage into the West Midlands so this announcement is very pertinent for us.
“We know the West Midlands is in desperate need of new housing and where usually, funding tends to be focussed on London and more recently, the North, it is encouraging to see a deal like this in the Midlands.”
Russell Quirk, founder and chief executive of Emoov, agreed.
But he reckoned the government isn’t doing enough to help the struggling market in London.
Quirk said: “Today’s additional announcement of 215,000 homes within the West Midlands region by 2031 will see an already strong area of the UK property market further accelerate where price growth is concerned.
“In contrast, London has been one of the worst hit in terms of a dwindling appetite for property amongst buyers.
“While the commitment of 26,000 affordable homes in the capital and a total of 116,000 affordable homes by 2022 would be a step in the right direction, the government delivered just under 7,000 affordable homes in 2017.
“So, there is quite a large gap between their good intentions and reality and this is simply not adequate enough to fix London’s broken housing market.”
Jonathan Sealey, chief executive of Hope Capital, was pleased by the move to increase the housing growth partnership with Lloyds.
He said: “While the Spring Statement wasn’t earth shattering it was positive news that the Housing Growth Partnership for small housebuilders will be more than doubled to £220m.
“It is these smaller developers and housebuilders that often turn to bridging funding to get their developments off the ground.
“Any measure that increases positive sentiment amongst builders and developers and gets them building, not only increases the much needed housing supply but also helps to boost the economy.”
Paresh Raja, chief executive of bridging lender Market Financial Solutions, welcomed the move.
He said: “It is positive to see the government focusing on developing property markets outside of the capital – the West Midlands has led the way with house price growth of late, and helping meet demand will be important in this region.
“Ultimately, however, we will need to wait and see whether or not the government successfully hits its targets when it comes to building new homes, both here and across the UK as a whole.”