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Leading house builder rips into government over housing policyLeading house builder rips into government over housing policy

The government’s housing policy, while helpful outside London, has had a negative effect on the capital according to one of the country’s leading house builders. 

In a trading statement for the period May to August, Berkeley Homes confirmed that since reporting its full year results in June there was a hiatus around the referendum before August returned to "the relative levels reported for the first five months of the year" - that is, about 20 per cent down on August 2015 reservations.

"Government policy, which has been helpful outside London, has had a negative effect on the capital," Tony Pidgley, the chief executive, said in the update to the City. 

"Transaction taxes are now too high and this is restricting both mobility in the second-hand market and the pace of supply and delivery of new homes in London and the south east." London "will fall well short of its targets for new homes," he added, warning that the capital "is the engine of our national economy and the principal driver of fiscal revenues... It poses a risk to deficit reduction and the prosperity of the whole country."

Berkeley reported that site visitor numbers and enquiries had been at similar levels to the same period last year but that "customers are taking longer to commit".

Redrow has also reported to the City, with a broadly more optimistic picture.

It reported a rise of 23 per cent to £250m in its pre-tax profits, with revenues up 20 per cent and the market showing "no effect" from the Brexit vote. A spokesman for the firm says the demand for new homes has this summer been "stronger than it's ever been".

  • Brit Sixteen Sixty Four

    Rubbish, the house builders should build homes that London workers can buy rather than luxury investment properties for foreigners. The stamp duty changes are welcomed at calming what was a runaway mega housing bubble.

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