Comments on the Autumn Statement from Steve Errington, CEO of Story Homes
It was reassuring that housing was high on the agenda for the Autumn Statement this year. News that the Government is launching a £2.3bn Housing Infrastructure Fund will be welcomed by the housebuilding industry and also buyers.
The focus on investment to unlock land and develop infrastructure for up to 100,000 new homes in areas of high demand will be a significant step forward in helping housebuilders to deliver much-needed new homes. For developers like Story Homes, local infrastructure can be one of the primary attributes to delays or restrictions on developments, so to see support from the Government to address this is significant.
The Government’s continued commitment to Help to Buy through the Equity Loan scheme and the Help to Buy ISA will ensure that getting on – and moving up – the property ladder remains accessible for many. With plans to generate higher wages and higher living standards in future years, it can give confidence to buyers to invest in larger properties that they can grow into.
The £1.4bn set aside to deliver 40,000 affordable homes, in addition to a £4.3bn fund that already exists, will be beneficial to the market. As Hammond referenced in his delivery of the Autumn Statement, home ownership is still impossible for many. If this move can help to meet the demand for these homes in the market it can only help stimulate housebuilding across the board.
A further £1.3bn for road upgrades and £400m investment into super-fast broadband roll-out looks set to further support residential development and standards of living.
I look forward to the launch of the Government’s housing white paper which will further address housing issues in the UK and demonstrate the Chancellor’s commitment to the industry.