While we all commend David Cameron’s crusade to get more homes built, if he seriously wants to speed up delivery of affordable homes for first-time buyers, the strategy will need careful implementation and the industry needs to accept its responsibility in helping deliver on its own promises (09.10.15).
Proactive planning for small and medium-sized developers within the housebuilding sector is vital when it comes to releasing government-owned land to ensure maximum benefit for both the taxpayer and the home buyer. The taxpayer benefits because land parcelled up to different companies is likely to go for a higher price than if it is sold as a single piece to one developer.
It is also likely to be developed more quickly, resulting in the new housing, and the related investment, sooner. A consortium of smaller developers would be much more likely to build out 50 to 80 homes a year each on serviced sites. In contrast, a volume builder will struggle at a rate above 100 homes a year across the whole site over a number of years. This restricts choice and delays delivery.
Home buyers will find themselves in a market with more availability and choice, with all the benefits of individual rather than mass-market homes.
When people buy a house, they feel the psychological security that comes with being a homeowner. This encourages people to invest and spend in our economy, ensuring its long-term health while helping to build long-term communities.
If done right, Cameron’s drive for more affordable homes will please both the taxman and the taxpayer - something so rare as to surely be worth pursuing.
Chris Coates, managing director, Oakford Homes