Construction boost to London’s housing industry

Construction boost to London's housing industryTwo multi-million pound deals that will see over 1,000 new homes built in the capital specifically for private rent have been welcomed by Housing Minister Brandon Lewis.

The 2 schemes are the latest deals under the government’s innovative Build to Rent scheme and are being supported with more than £150 million of funding.

The 1046 new homes to rent support a package of government measures to deliver 1 million new homes to boost housing supply and help local economic growth.

The schemes help provide more choice for Londoners, and are located close to underground stations. Each site will include a mix of 1, 2 or 3 bedroom homes.

Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis said: “As a global city filled with opportunity and links to the rest of the world, there is a real demand for good quality homes available to rent on flexible terms in the Capital.

These 2 new deals will provide a big boost to housing and help meet the needs of tenants well into the future.”

The Build to Rent fund is designed to accelerate housing provision and to help developers produce large scale, quality homes, specifically for the private rented sector.

To date over 5,800 homes have been contracted through Build to Rent with investment totaling £661 million, supporting the delivery of rented homes for tenants.

HCA-I Head of Transactions Gareth Blacker said: “This is good example of how the Homes and Community Agency is able to support major cities to create successful places for people to work and live.

This investment in the capital helps to meet local priorities for housing and growth, supports a wide range of construction professions working on the scheme, and gives greater choice to people who want to rent a high quality home in London.”

Housing completions at 7 year high

Housing completions at 7 year highThe number of newly built homes continues to rise and is now at the highest level since 2008 to 2009, new figures released this month show.

139,690 new homes were completed in the year to March – a rise of 12% on the previous year.

And the latest house building figures also show that the number of new homes started is also at its highest level since 2007 to 2008.

139,680 homes were started in 2015 to 2016. This continues the upward trend as both starts and completions have continued to grow gradually for the last 2 years.

Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis said: “We’ve got the country building again and are seeing our house building efforts paying-off with this considerable increase in the number of homes built in just 1 year.

This is real progress but there is more to do. That’s why we are going further and increasing our investment in housebuilding to ensure many more hard-working people can benefit.”

House building growth across the country

The new figures show strong regional growth in Wakefield and London experiencing high levels of completions.

Delivery in London saw 32% more homes being built in 2015 to 2016 than the previous year with local authorities in Basildon and Haringey seeing completions soar 279% and 1039% respectively over the same period.

And in Wakefield completions were up 59%, from 1,028 to 1,634.

Figures published in November 2015 show that the total number of new homes across the country rose by 25% in 2014 to 2015 when taking into account all homes, including new builds, houses that have been converted into flats and buildings whose use has been changed to residential.

The government’s landmark Housing and Planning Act will also help deliver on its ambition to build a million more homes.

The Act will ensure local authorities continue to play an important role in delivery, and new measures will allow them to provide more homes more swiftly.

Councils to push for faster brownfield land development

Councils to push for faster brownfield land developmentPioneering councils are to help lead the way in bringing forward derelict and underused land for building new homes, Communities Secretary Greg Clark has announced.

73 councils across England will pilot one of the new brownfield registers, which will provide house builders with up-to-date and publicly available information on all brownfield sites available for housing locally.

The registers will help housebuilders identify suitable sites quickly, speeding up the construction of new homes.

They will also allow communities to draw attention to local sites for listing, including in some cases derelict buildings and eyesores that are primed for redevelopment and that could attract investment to the area.

The government has pledged 1 million more homes and to get planning permission in place on 90% of suitable brownfield sites for housing. Today’s move ramps up the brownfield land building commitment.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark said: “A key part of our ambition to build 1 million homes is to get work started on brownfield sites across the country – many of which are currently nothing more than blight on a community’s landscape.

These councils will be at the forefront of these efforts to list land and encourage builders to deliver new homes for aspiring homeowners.”

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “By getting the first councils going in piloting a register of brownfield land for housing we have the first wave of areas pushing for more homes on suitable brownfield land, including affordable housing.”

Help to Buy scheme boosts house building

House building UKNew research has found that 43% of new homes built under the Help to Buy, equity loan scheme for aspiring homeowners, would have not been built without introduction of the scheme.

A report published today also found that 82% of buyers under Help to Buy: equity loan would not have been able to purchase their home without the scheme helping them meet their ownership aspirations.

Launched in 2013, the Help to Buy scheme was set up to support hard-working people who could pay a mortgage but struggle to save the deposits required by lenders.

Now more than 130,000 people have now been able to become homeowners since the launch.

The report found no evidence that the scheme has driven up house prices but did find that housebuilders have much more confidence in the housing market.

Help to Buy scheme boosts house buildingHousing Minister Brandon Lewis said: Anyone who works hard and aspires to own their own home should have the opportunity to do so and this report shows how the government’s Help to Buy scheme continues to turn those dreams into a reality.

We’ve got the country building again and seen the number of new homes increase by 25% in the last year alone with thousands of people across the country helped by the scheme.”

The number of owners assisted by other government schemes is also expected to continue rising through London Help to Buy and the Help to Buy: ISA, which has now been opened by more than 250,000 people.

Confidence in the market

Help to Buy is supporting the country’s economy by getting Britain building again.

The report shows that builders have seen improved confidence in the market because of the scheme and that it has encouraged more lenders to enter the market. It is also helping people move up to bigger homes.

The research found that the average price of homes under the scheme is £212,000, £55,000 below the UK average of £267,000 and that it has brought down the average deposit needed.

Help to Buy: equity loan has been extended to 2021 through a further £8.6 billion and will help up to 145,000 more people take steps towards owning their own home.

New garden towns to create thousands of new homes

New garden towns to create thousands of new homesTwo new garden towns are being supported with £1.1 million of new funding that will help deliver thousands of homes for aspiring homeowners.

Didcot in Oxfordshire and North Essex will be home to new communities that between them are set to provide up to 50,000 new homes, supported by new infrastructure.

The proposals, which have been supported by local leaders, include plans for an additional 15,000 homes by 2031 in Greater Didcot Garden Town and new Garden Communities in North Essex with up to 35,000 new homes.

The money will fund initial work that will enable high quality homes, new transport improvements, good schools, jobs and community amenities to be delivered in a strategic and sustainable way.

Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis said: “I’ve been really impressed by the level of ambition and vision shown by Didcot and North Essex and their determination to deliver new sustainable communities.

We are determined to support communities that are eager to boost the number of homes in their areas to meet local need and this money will help get work up and running quicker.”

The minister heard first-hand how the money will help kick-start work during a visit to Didcot on Monday.

More people helped into home ownership

The new garden towns announcement comes as the Prime Minister today said that Shared Ownership will open the door to 175,000 more aspiring homeowners.

Radical changes to Shared Ownership rules will remove old fashioned barriers to home ownership.

Those already in a shared ownership property will be able to move to another shared ownership home – putting an end to restrictions that stopped them using the scheme more than once.

The re-invigorated scheme will allow these homeowners to use the capital they have gained to move to a bigger property, as their families grow or circumstances change.

The measures are part of the government’s commitment to creating 1 million more homeowners over the next five years.

Highest increase in affordable house building for 22 years

Highest increase in affordable housebuilding for 22 yearsThe numbers of affordable homes being built are growing at their fastest rate since 1993, new figures this week show.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark said this was further proof of the government’s commitment to get more homes built while boosting the construction industry.

The latest figures show 66,640 new affordable homes were delivered in the last year – 55% higher than the previous year.

It meant the numbers of social and affordable rented homes increased by nearly two-thirds, and the number of affordable homes to buy rose by 41% over the same time period.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark said: “Today’s figures show how far we’ve come to get the country building, bringing the industry back from the brink to deliver the highest annual increase in affordable housebuilding for over 2 decades.

But we are far from complacent and the doubling of government investment in housebuilding announced at the recent Spending Review reaffirms our commitment to deliver a million new homes by 2020.

Affordable homes to rent and buy are a key part of that, helping to give young people and families across the country the best possible start in life.”

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “Our housebuilding efforts are paying off and can be seen by this considerable increase in the number of affordable homes built in just one year.

This is real progress but there is more to do. That’s why we are going further and increasing our investment in these homes to ensure many more hard-working people can benefit.”

Building more affordable homes

Housebuilding is a key part of the government’s long-term economic plan.

Today’s figures mean that over 270,000 new affordable homes have been delivered since 2010.

At the Spending Review last week, the government announced plans to double investment in housebuilding to £8 billion, to help towards delivering one million homes by 2020 – and to deliver the largest affordable housebuilding programme since the 1970s.

Thousands of homes to be built in planning shake up

Thousands of homes to be built in planning shake upHousing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis today announced new measures that will make it easier to turn underused office buildings into new homes.

The move will provide thousands of new homes, and make the best use of existing buildings including some that are underused and neglected – while at the same time boosting the building trades.

Brandon Lewis said: “We’re determined that, both in Whitehall and in town halls, everything is done to get the homes we need built.

Today’s measures will mean we can tap into the potential of underused buildings to offer new homes for first-time buyers and families long into the future, breathing new life into neighbourhoods and at the same time protecting our precious green belt.”

First introduced in 2013, temporary permitted development rights have enabled offices to be converted to new homes without having to apply for planning permission.

It has meant that between April 2014 and June this year, almost 4,000 conversions were given the go-ahead.

To further support the delivery of new homes, the rights will in future allow the demolition of office buildings and new building for residential use.

In addition, new permitted development rights will enable the change of use of light industrial buildings and launderettes to new homes.

New fund will help more tenants to become homeowners

New fund will help more tenants to become homeownersCouncil tenants unable to take up their Right to Buy will have the support they need to become homeowners under plans announced by Housing Minister Brandon Lewis.

The Housing Minister announced that 42 councils will each receive a share of nearly £20 million to help tenants with the Right to Buy to buy their own home on the open market.

The Right to Buy Social Mobility Fund will particularly help those looking to move for work, to be nearer to family, or those whose properties are difficult to mortgage.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “The Right to Buy offers a helping hand to thousands of council tenants across the country to become homeowners – but some remain trapped in their own homes, unable to take up this opportunity.

The Right to Buy Social Mobility Fund changes, and offers people the chance to get on the property ladder and buy a home that best suits their needs.”

Helping people onto the property ladder

Housebuilding, and supporting aspiring homeowners, are key parts of the government’s long-term economic plan.

The government reinvigorated the Right to Buy in 2012, increasing discounts so they currently stand at £77,000 outside of London and £102,700 in the capital.

Since then, more than 33,000 households have taken up their Right to Buy, with nearly £730 million in sales receipts being reinvested in affordable housebuilding.

Overall, council housing starts are at a 23-year high.

New measures set to boost housebuilding

HousebuildingNew measures will deliver new homes across the country, help aspiring homeowners onto the property ladder and offer greater support to those renting privately.

Housebuilding is a key part of the government’s long-term economic plan, expected to create thousands of new jobs and boost the construction trades.

A new Urban Development Corporation will help deliver the first Garden City for 100 years at Ebbsfleet, with up to 15,000 new homes.

Overlapping and unnecessary building standards, that increase the cost of construction for house builders, are scrapped making it easier and less expensive to build.

There will be new support from councils for aspiring self- and custom builders in their area to find suitable plots of land to get their projects off the drawing board.

There will also be help for aspiring homeowners and tenants in the private rented sector, with more people qualifying for the Right to Buy, measures to prevent so-called retaliatory evictions and requirements on letting agents to publish full details of the fees they charge to tenants.

And homeowners in London looking to rent out their homes on a short-term basis will now be able to do so without seeking planning permission from their council – putting the Capital’s rules in line with those already in place for the rest of the country.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “We’re working across all parts of the housing industry to get the country building again and it’s working, with housebuilding levels at their highest since 2007 and planning permission granted on 253,000 homes in the last year alone.”

200,000 homes on brownfield land set to be built

200,000 homes on brownfield land set to be built Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis this week announced a multi-million pound fund to help provide 200,000 new homes on brownfield sites across the country.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “Our efforts to get the country building again are working – housing starts are at their highest since 2007 and climbing. But we need to do more, delivering more homes while at the same time protecting our precious green belt.

That’s why today I’m taking steps that will help to make enough brownfield land available for 200,000 homes up and down the country, creating the homes and jobs communities want and need.”

Housebuilding is a key part of the government’s long-term economic plan – with starts now at their highest since 2007.

The £4.4 million fund will enable councils to bring forward brownfield sites of 100 homes or more in their area – making it quicker and easier for developers to get work started.

Unlocking development on brownfield sites

Since 2010 the government has pulled out all the stops to get the country building again – while at the same time keeping in place strong protections for green belt land.

The National Planning Policy Framework makes clear the need to prioritise building on previously-used brownfield land, while new measures make it easier to convert existing commercial, retail and agricultural buildings for residential use.

All this means more than two thirds of all new homes are now built on brownfield sites, while in the year to September planning permission was granted for 240,000 new homes.

But the government wants to go further – and has set a clear ambition to have local development orders granting planning permission for new homes in place on over 90% of suitable brownfield land by 2020.

This will let developers get planning permission quickly – getting workers on site quicker, and homes that communities want built.