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Housebuilders commit to helping UK buyers

Leading housing developers have undertaken a voluntary commitment to ensure UK buyers have access to new build housing in the nation's capital.The commitment states that intervention in the market would be likely to reduce supply but acknowledges the need to ensure UK buyers are not disadvantaged. It pledges to make properties available on the UK market before, or at the same time as, they are made available to foreign buyers.A new survey conducted by the Home Builders' Federation (HBF) of eight major companies responsible for 44 per cent of homes built in London last year reveals substantial benefits have been delivered as a result of developments built with homes sold abroad. These include the provision of 14,000 affordable homes cross-funded by privately sold properties, foreign investment of £2 billion provided to British builders and the creation of 16,000 jobs.The survey corroborates research revealing that 85 per cent of homes bought by foreign buyers in the capital were occupied and dispels the 'lights out in London' myth. Those who do not occupy the properties rent them out to other tenants.This trend occurs in all but the most "high end" developments and is helping to boost provision of homes available for rent in the nation's capital.Pre-selling is often a vital means of making finance available for other developments, according to the HBF. London would lose out on several significant benefits which result from this practice if up-front funding was not available.Executive chairman of the HBF Stewart Baseley said attracting up-front investment is crucial and it allows provision of affordable homes, although he recognises that provision needs to be made to UK buyers.Mayor of London Boris Johnson welcomed the HBF voluntary code of conduct."It is right that new homes are made available to Londoners at the outset. In addition it is critical we continue to make every effort to boost house building and deliver more homes to support economic growth, including low cost homes to rent and buy for hard working Londoners," he said. 

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