2016 was a tumultuous year dominated by a continued shortage of homes to buy, cheap interest rates and a surplus of people looking to buy. There were a number of changes affecting the property market including changes to taxation rules on buy to let and second homes and of course the effects of the Brexit result. So as the New Year arrives what does it hold for home owners and those looking to purchase property?
The most significant event has come from the government which announced just a few days ago the plan to build over 200,000 homes and the creation of a number of new garden villages. They announced support for 14 new village’s right across the country with access to £6 million fund to support the delivery. The government also announced the support for 3 new towns in Taunton, Aylesbury and Harlow with £1.4 million to support the development. A full list of the proposed developments can be found below. The government claim this will provide almost 200,000 new homes but unhelpfully don’t specify over what period of time!
In a separate initiative the government has announced a £1.2 billion starter homes land fund which will support the development of starter homes for those aged 23-40 offering them a 20% discount on the market value.
In yet a further development just 2 days later the government announced £7 billion of spending on an affordable housing programme. This will be available to housing providers to use on schemes such as rent-to-buy. The government claims it will deliver 200,000 new homes.
It is really unclear whether these three announcements are linked and are just the same money packaged under 3 different labels (it is a curious coincidence that they all claim to deliver an extra 200,000 homes – would our government really do such a thing?)
Whether it’s one package or several the real question is how does it affect ordinary house holders in the West Country and those wishing to buy houses? What is clear is that the government are putting in some money but unless enough homes are built the money will just serve to increase house prices which we have seen with previous initiatives. So how many homes do we need? By government estimates we have the worst housing shortage since the 1960’s with an estimated 1.5 million homes required to meet demand! Even if the government deliver on their promise of 200,000 new homes and the private sector are able to match it with additional building it’s likely to be spread over several years and will be largely in effective at dealing with what is becoming a national scandal. The result is we are probably in for a further round of rising house prices fuelled by the government!
List of proposed garden villages are:
The 14 new garden villages are:
- Long Marston in Stratford-on-Avon
- Oxfordshire Cotswold in West Oxfordshire
- Deenethorpe in East Northants
- Culm in Mid Devon
- Welborne near Fareham in Hampshire
- West Carclaze in Cornwall
- Dunton Hills near Brentwood, Essex
- Spitalgate Heath in South Kesteven, Lincolnshire
- Halsnead in Knowsley, Merseyside
- Longcross in Runnymede and Surrey Heath
- Bailrigg in Lancaster
- Infinity Garden Village in South Derbyshire and Derby City area
- St Cuthberts near Carlisle City, Cumbria
- North Cheshire in Cheshire East
The 3 new garden towns are:
- Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire
- Taunton, Somerset
- Harlow & Gilston, Essex and Hertfordshire