The government have committed to building 300,000 new homes per year. The Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced in his November 2017 budget that he had allocated funding of £44 billion to reach this target. At present we are seeing around 200,000 per year, we have a long way to go to build 100,000 more affordable homes per year.
While the increase in house prices has slowed slightly during 2017 the average price of a home is now £211,000; which is 8 times the average salary.
To meet these targets the government will need to further relax planning regulations and invest in building technology.
We have seen many private sector builders using modular building techniques which can speed up development and cut costs. Beyond these practical matters the government will need to involve local councils, housing associations and private house builders. Hammond has suggested he will introduce incentives for councils in high demand areas; give financial guarantees to support private builders and to encourage those looking to develop build to rent properties.
One of the key factors the government will need to tackle is access to finance; both local councils and SMEs need to borrow large sums of money to pay for materials, labour and land before any building can start. Funding is also needed to train new skilled trades, we currently utilise a large number of skilled labourers from the EU, after Brexit this may become an issue.
There is still much scepticism among experts about whether the governments targets will be met. But the right intentions are there!