Budget 2013: Government looks again at housing supply

Budget 2013: Government looks again at housing supply


Author: David Perry

In his March 2013 Budget statement, the Chancellor has announced various measures targeted at promoting growth and addressing some of the structural issues with housing supply and accessibility.

The detail has still to be fleshed out, but points to note are:


Promoting home ownership

. building on demand for First Buy, a further £3.5 billion available through Help to Buy (equity loan), allowing buyers to purchase homes valued up to £600,000 on a shared equity basis of up to 20%

. making Help to Buy more widely available than First Buy, shifting eligibility from first-time buyers with an income cap of £60,000 to include those moving up the ladder, and also removing that income cap

. introducing a £12 billion Help to Buy (mortgage guarantee) scheme for three years from January 2014, to provide state guarantees to lenders for buyers with 5-20% deposits, whether first time buyers or existing home owners, without income caps and for properties valued up to £600,000


Supporting social housing

. a further review of Right to Buy, following the discount review in April 2012, to increase the maximum discount available in London to £100,000 from 25 March

. more widely, reducing the Right to Buy qualifying period to three years from five years, and looking at ways to reduce the procedural difficulties of the Right to Buy process


The intention is to promote wider home ownership while reducing housing debt and supporting the 1:1 replacement process for homes transferred out of stock to buyers. However, we have seen localised problems in some areas, as 1:1 replacement is applied broadly, and has led to stock depletion for some associations with limited geographical coverage.


Driving development

. looking to long-term housing supply, the Government has announced that the £200m Build to Rent scheme will be expanded to £1 billion in England, providing equity or loan finance to support new home development for private rent


For developers, housing providers, tenants and buyers there is something on offer in this Budget, once the details are settled.