Housebuilders tell minister ‘we will build more’

Major house builders last week met with Housing Minister Mark Prisk to tell him that the demand side mortgage support measures introduced by Government were working and would lead directly to more homes being built.

The meeting took place as figures release showed that 12500 reservations have been made through the Government’s Help to Buy scheme up to the end of August. The scheme is well on target to deliver the 74,000 homes intended over the next few years. The figures emerge as the industry enters its traditionally busy autumn selling season.

The meeting was an opportunity for the industry to tell the minister how well the mortgage scheme was working; and also discuss what steps could be taken to address the other constraints on supply – the planning system and regulatory costs.

Speaking after the meeting, Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman of the HBF said: “Help to Buy has been an unqualified success. It is addressing a lack of mortgage availability – the main constraint on the market, and if people can buy, builders can build. With the traditionally busy autumn house buying period upon us, all the signs are that the next couple of months will see a significant number of people realising their ambition of home ownership. However, if it is to ultimately lead to a significant and sustained increase in housing supply, Ministers still need to act on the other constraints on supply – a lack of land and excessive regulatory costs.”

Prisk said: “The housing market has turned a corner since the end of the unsustainable housing boom. There are more first time buyers than at any time since 2007, while housing supply is at its highest level since 2008 and growing at the fastest rate for three years.

“As a Government we have worked hard and prioritised limited financial resources to help the housing market through one of its toughest times and create the right conditions for it to flourish. So I’m delighted that developers have pledged to use this momentum to increase output and get Britain building again.”

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