2017 is set to be the first year since 2008 that the UK constructs 200,000 new homes, suggests Redrow, one of the country’s major house builders.
The company’s chief executive, John Tutte, says the government’s announcement of a £2.3 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund, together with the unlocking of a number of brownfield sites, are likely to be key in achieving the May administration’s target of one million new homes in five years - and next year should see 200,000 homes built as a result.
“The supply of land for housing is improving, with many local authorities now taking a more proactive approach in their area by identifying the number of homes needed to meet current and future demand and implementing plans to progress delivery” says Tutte.
However, he says the government’s White Paper on housing - expected next month - should address the key issue which Tutte believes is holding back construction: that is, “red tape and a lack of planning resource in local authority departments.”
The chief executive says demand for new homes continues to outweigh supply, with record low interest rates, a competitive mortgage market and government incentives such as Help to Buy having boosted demand.
“The high cost of deposits combined with stamp duty and other moving costs has resulted in people moving further out as they look to get more for their money. Schemes located in prime commuter belt locations which are under an hour journey from the UK’s major cities are popular and this is a trend that looks set to increase in 2017 and beyond” Tutte forecasts.
“Analysis of our buyers also reveals their habits towards buying new homes. While our buyers favour new homes for the craftsmanship, low-maintenance lifestyle and 10-year NHBC guarantee they bring, they are also keen to live in a bespoke home that offers individuality, and in 2017 customisation will continue to be popular” he anticipates.