Groups welcome Budget housing sector boost

23 November 2017

The Construction Products Association (CPA) and Timber Trade Federation are among groups welcoming the government’s Budget moves to help the construction sector.

Chancellor Philip Hammond announced a string of measures to benefit the housing and construction sectors including the abolition of stamp duty for first time homebuyers for properties of up to £300,000, and on the first £300,000 of the purchase price of properties up to £500,000.

The Chancellor also committed £44bn billion of capital funding, loans and guarantees, including an additional £15.3bn in new measures, to allow the delivery of 300,000 net additional homes per year by the mid-2020s, compared to 217,000 in 2016/17.

The CPA welcomed confirmation that the government is finalising a sector deal for construction that will support innovation and skills in the sector and has approved the Challenge Fund bid.

The TTF also saw bright spots in the Chancellor’s announcements.

“The measures announced by the Chancellor today to boost housebuilding will be welcome news to the timber supply chain, and to the rest of the construction sector,” said David Hopkins, TTF managing director.

“The extra £1.5bn to help small developers, along with the SME housebuilding fund, will help local merchants and builders, while the powers for councils to charge higher council tax rates on empty properties will help boost RMI work for smaller builders as those buildings go back into occupation.”

Mr Hopkins also said the government’s target of 300,000 net new homes per year by the mid-2020s was achievable through the timber frame sector.

However, he added that good news was dampened by weaker growth forecasts.

The Budget commits a further £2.7bn to the competitively allocated Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) in England. This takes the total investment in the HIF to £5bn.