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HBF supports new Budget measures

The Home Builders Federation (HBF) has welcomed chancellor George Osborne's announcement as part of yesterday's (March 20th) Budget that the Help to Buy scheme is to receive a considerable cash injection over the coming years.

A total of £3.5 billion is to be made available for the new government project - which will replace FirstBuy - helping to offer discounts of up to 20 per cent for home buyers across the country until 2017.

Measures that will be supported by the funding include an extension of the NewBuy Guarantee Scheme, as well as delivering benefits to the affordable housing and private rented sectors.

HBF executive chairman Stewart Baseley commented: "A lack of affordable mortgage availability remains the biggest constraint on housing supply, something government now clearly understands and is looking to address.

"Extending NewBuy to the second hand market should create churn in the market place and drive up sales across the board - including for new homes. We do though need to ensure a level playing field across the whole market."

He added that building the homes that are desperately needed across the UK in order to tackle the ongoing crisis in terms of growing demand for homes will be a key driver of economic recovery and the government should therefore be praised for attempts to stimulate construction activity.

However, ensuring the details of the investment are right to deliver maximum returns for the taxpayer should now be viewed as a priority.

Earlier this month, the HBF highlighted data as part of its latest New Housing Pipeline report, which showed significant growth in the number of new home approvals across the UK in recent months.

According to its findings, the report stated 45,041 new home approvals were made in the fourth quarter of 2012, delivering a 62 per cent increase on the same period in 2011. 

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