Number of new homes slows

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It’s common knowledge that the UK needs more homes.

Even though there’s clearly a demand, housing output is predicted to fall 1% next year due to a drop in consumer confidence, rising costs and a fall in real earnings in the construction industry.

It’s not been helped by a recent fall in house sales, particularly in London, and all the political uncertainties of Brexit.

And the construction industry isn’t too pleased with a proposed government ban on building homes to be sold under leasehold rather than freehold agreements, due to the former’s rising cost to homeowners.

Meanwhile, there will be an uptake in general housing activity later this year. This is being driven by the fallout from the Grenfell Tower fire, where scores of high rises under public ownership are to be refurbished to meet fire safety standards.

There’s also Help to Buy to think about.

Help to Buy was set up in 2013, where the government contributes to a deposit, in the form of an equity backed loan. It is responsible for over a third of new builds.

However, the scheme ends in 2021.

News that the government is reviewing whether to continue the scheme caused confidence and shares in homebuilders to dive.

Bucking the trend though is the bank Nationwide: it’s pouring millions into its housebuilding business.

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