new homes

  • Housing Market
    Housing Market

    Significant rise in number of new homes in Scotland

    There has been a sharp increase in the volume of new homes built in Scotland, according to official figures. The latest housing statistics from the Scottish Government haveunveiled that the number of new homes completed across the private and social sector rose 9 per cent to 16,281 between April 2014 and March 2015, compared to the same period in 2013-14. Based on the latest data, the Scottish Government is well on track to exceed its five-year target to deliver 30,000 affordable homes by March 2016, as part of the Affordable Housing Supply Programme. Figures to the end of June 2015, show that a total of 28,048 affordable homes have now been delivered –93 per cent of the 30,000 target “By targeting resources at making private sector homes more affordable, through schemes like Help to Buy (Scotland), we have seen the number of private sector completions rise significantly,” said Scottish Housing Minister Margaret Burgess (left). House builders have welcomed the 9 nine per cent rise in the total number of new homes built across Scotland, but have called for greater early clarity on the details of the successor to the hugely successful Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme if such an increase…

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  • Housing Market
    Housing Market

    Do builders really have too many land banks?

    If you’ve ever wondered why it takes so long for new homes developments in your area to go from planning permission to completion, then a report by the Campaign for Rural England (CPRE) attempts to explain the strange world of land banks. The CPRE’s dossier on  new homes building  in the UK is a damming summary of the factors that prevent more new homes being built in the UK, something that  frustrates many of the agents waiting to sell them. The Getting Houses Built report, published this month, lays the blame at the feet of the developers, which it collars for focussing too much on profit while “dictating supply but not meeting need”. One of the more surprising facts to emerge from the report is that the nine largest volume builders have a land bank of some 340,000 housing plots. While the CPRE admits that shareholder value will never override national house-building targets, it says the high levels of land ‘banked’ reveal the need for urgent reform. To fix this problem, the CPRE suggests that developers are granted planning permission on a ‘use it or lose it’ basis with a five-year limit, after which land would be compulsorily purchased off…

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  • Features
    Regulation & Law

    Garden cities

    The principles of new large villages are firmly rooted in the Garden City ideal, says Jeremy Leaf.

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  • Housing Market
    Regulation & Law

    Lib Dems reiterate Mansion Tax ambition with Election manifesto

    The Liberal Democrat party has placed housing at the heart of its election manifesto, revealing plans to introduce a £100 cut in council tax for 10 years for people who insulate their home, as well as confirming that it plans to introduce a ‘mansion tax’ – originally a Liberal Democrat policy – on residential properties worth £2 million or more. Homes worth between £2 million and £2.5 million would face an annual mansion tax of up to £2,000 a year, under Liberal Democrat plans. Nick Clegg (left) confirmed the Lib Dems had scaled back the policy and it would now raise only £1 billion – considerably less than the £1.7 billion initially proposed. Mr Clegg commented, “It is less than originally mooted but as we have worked up the idea, looked at what we think is reasonable and fair, we think this is a reasonable and fair way of doing it and shouldn’t scare the horses.” The Labour Party has also proposed its own mansion tax, which would see properties valued between £2 million and £3 million paying £250 a month or £3,000 a year. The party is yet to set out details of higher bands. The Lib Dems’ manifesto,…

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  • Housing Market
    Housing Market

    General Election

    With the clock ticking towards the 7th May, this is a good time to reflect on what we’ve achieved in this parliament. In 2010 we inherited a broken housing market: builders couldn’t build, lenders wouldn’t lend and buyers couldn’t buy. Housebuilding starts were at their lowest for any peacetime year since the 1920s and a generation of hardworking young people – who could have rightly expected to take their first step on the property ladder – were locked out of homeownership. Great progress has been made but the challenge remains considerable.” Fast forward to today and the landscape is very different. The numbers of first-time buyers has hit a seven-year high; planning permission has been granted on 240,000 new homes in the year to October, and housebuilding starts are at their highest since 2007. LONG-TERM STRATEGY And this turnaround didn’t happen by accident – it required a longterm economic plan to restore confidence to the market and get the country building again. Above all that meant security. Firm action to tackle the deficit – keeping interest rates at their record low, ensuring mortgages remained affordable and encouraging business investment. We’ve supported the aspirations of hard-working people. Help to Buy is…

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  • Housing Market
    Housing Market

    We must build 200,000 homes a year by 2020 – FMB

    The Government and property industry must collaborate to build at least 200,000 homes a year by 2020 in order to tackle the housing crisis, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). The call forms part of the FMB’s “Programme for Government: 2015 to 2020” which was launched at a high profile cross-party event in Parliament last week. Brian Berry (left), Chief Executive of the FMB, said, “In England we’re only building around half the number of new homes required to meet the demand for housing. Regardless of which party or parties take the reins in May 2015, the next Government must work with industry to develop a robust housing strategy and commit to building at least 200,000 new homes a year by 2020. This is a realistic target and one that can be achieved if we remove barriers to small local builders.” The FMB’s “Programme for Government: 2015 to 2020”, was welcomed last week by the Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis, Shadow Housing Minister Emma Reynolds (right) and Communities and Local Government Minister Stephen Williams, with all three MPs agreeing that far more needs to be done to boost the supply of much needed new build homes. This…

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