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13 June, 2014

HBF Statement in response to the Chancellor’s Mansion House speech

Responding to the Chancellor’s annual Mansion House speech, Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation said:

“The measures the Chancellor and London Mayor have announced to fast track brownfield sites for housing development, and to help finance the potentially very large up-front land preparation and infrastructure costs, are very welcome. They will allow home builders to get onto new sites much more quickly and so help maintain the increases in home building we have seen since April last year. Two of the biggest barriers to brownfield housing development are the costs of bringing sites into production, and the long delays – sometimes years – house builders can face obtaining an implementable planning permission. The new measures address both these obstacles.

“We are already starting to see a recovery in house building activity take root. The Help to Buy equity loan scheme has increased demand for new homes and house builders have responded. All indicators are now showing a significant rise in house building activity. The Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee has an important role in maintaining financial stability but in exercising its powers it should avoid slowing down that recovery, especially in regions where the slump has taken longer to overcome. We are encouraged therefore by Mark Carney’s recent comments acknowledging that the only effective long-term remedy for the deeply entrenched problems in the housing market is to build more new homes.”