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Chancellor plans 300,000 new homes for first-time buyers

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Written by: Lana Clements
20/11/2017
Plans to build 300,000 new homes a year are to be laid out in the 2017 Autumn Budget on November 22, as the chancellor tackles the obstacles standing in the way of first-time buyers.

Philip Hammond declared that affordability is the key challenge for young people and Britain must provide more housing to solve the crisis.

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show yesterday, the Chancellor said: “It is not acceptable to us that so many fewer young Britons are able to own a home now than just 10 or 15 years ago.

“It is not acceptable to us that there are not enough properties to rent and that rents are sky-high. The answer is we have to build more homes.”

Hammond admitted the plans are a “big step-up” from current building levels and there is no “single magic bullet” to solve the housing crisis and create more homes.

The Chancellor is set to announce planning and intervention initiatives to push through construction after permission has been granted.

A Stamp Duty cut or break for first time-buyers is also expected to be announced in Wednesday’s Budget – although Hammond refused to comment when questioned by Marr.

As part of efforts to push through supply, £40m will also be invested in construction training programmes in jobs such as ground workers, bricklayers, roofers and plasterers.

It comes after Theresa May last week said it’s her “personal mission to create more homes faster”.

Peter Williams, executive director of Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA), said: “Any action on further boosting housebuilding should be welcomed, but new homes won’t materialise overnight and the supply of affordable homes remains critically low.

“People still need somewhere to live while we fix the supply shortage: 4.3m people are currently renting in the UK and rely on a well-served and well-supported private rented sector while trying to save for a home of their own.

“Further punitive taxation measures for landlords will reduce supply and put pressure on them to raise rents, both causing more problems for the households who currently rent but hope to buy.

“Landlords are not the problem rather it is the lack of homes and not least, affordable homes. That’s where the Budget should focus.”

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