“Yesterday’s budget announcement was relatively light on housing news, but it did nonetheless deliver certain pledges for the industry.” says Ross Counsell, Director of Good Move.
Reiterating the manifesto commitment to build 300,000 homes a year, the budget offers a boost to the housing industry and will go a long way to reassuring stakeholders – buyers, sellers and developers – who may have had concerns about the market stability.
Compared to even a few months ago, things are looking much more certain across the country. Since last year’s general election delivered a majority government and the UK finally left the EU, the market is far more stable and this commitment to creating more affordable housing should help to inspire even more confidence.
Following recent news that house prices had risen in all UK regions for the first time in two years, we can now expect this trend to continue. Assuming the Brexit roll-out goes smoothly and there are no further political shockwaves, it is likely that this rise in prices will continue throughout the year, perhaps even reaching an increase of 2 or 3%.
Today’s announcement also revealed the government’s intention to modernise and simplify the planning system. Aiming to improve the capability and performance of Local Planning Authorities (LPAs), if successful, this should make investing in housing easier for developers. While the number of properties for sale has been relatively low in recent years, this renewed confidence in the industry will likely lead to a surge in houses being listed.
Additionally, sellers may have delayed putting their homes on the market until Brexit was decided. Now that the situation has stabilised and house prices are increasing, it is currently a good time for people to sell.
That said, many will be disappointed by the government’s lack of pledges to help first-time buyers. While the budget does denote plans to build more “affordable” homes, measures such as rent controls or the abolition of leasehold properties were not mentioned, suggesting that helping young buyers get on the property ladder is not the main priority of today’s announcement.