The BMF has welcomed the proposals announced by the Chancellor in the 2018 Budget that would see “new regional property price caps” introduced to the Help to Buy scheme. This was the main recommendation put to the Chancellor by the BMF in advance of the Budget.
Commenting on the Budget, John Newcomb, Chief Executive of the BMF said, “The BMF is delighted that the Chancellor has agreed with our proposals for regional thresholds to be introduced to the Help to Buy scheme.
“Help to Buy has helped to drive forward the housing market whilst enabling many people to purchase their first home. Adding this new regional element will provide more targeting to ensure Help to Buy helps those who needs it most. The Chancellor’s plans will also stimulate local economies and compliment further proposals to boost the prosperity of SME businesses, such as builders merchants.
“However, we are disappointed that the Government has decided to bring the curtain down on Help to Buy in 2023. Over the coming years, we will be campaigning for a set of other measures to be introduced to further support housebuilding, as well as other construction projects, in all areas of the country”.
Newcomb also welcome the commitment in the Budget to boost the ability of local councils to build more homes, “Removing the cap on what local authorities can borrow against their Housing Revenue Account assets is very good news. A long-held BMF belief is for ministers to use all available levers to ‘Change the Ratio’ between the small number of volume house-builders and the rest to foster a diverse, functioning market for building.
“This is why we are pleased to see the Treasury liberating both local authorities and SME private builders that, for too long, have been under-used players in housing provision”.