‘Targeted action needed in Budget to produce upturn’

With house building likely to fall to record low levels this year, HBF is demanding this urgent action to protect industry capacity – vital for future housing provision.

Increasing output would boost the economy, create jobs and result in better local infrastructure across the country while mitigating the cumulative under-supply of housing that is currently growing worse by the day.

Measures called for include:

* Swift implementation of a Government guarantee of mortgage-backed securities to address the collapse of mortgage availability for borrowers – the key barrier to a recovery in the housing market;

* Additional public money to be used to ‘gap fund’ ready-to-go sites currently not able to start work because of the economic crisis;

* Provision of more money for shared equity schemes (such as HomeBuy Direct) to assist beleaguered first-time buyers, who have all but disappeared from the market;

* Extension of the temporary stamp duty holiday and lifting of the threshold to £250,000;

* Allowing housing investment in SIPPS;

* Create a framework to enable a more robust private rental market to flourish.

Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman of the HBF said: "The benefits of boosting housing supply are quite clear in terms of the impact it would have on jobs and the wider economy.

"Similarly the dangers, both social and fiscal of not doing so are painfully apparent for today and the future. We need the Government to be brave and implement a range of fiscal measures in the Budget to nurture the fragile early signs of an upturn reported in recent weeks."

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