The Chancellor’s Budget for 2014 included a great deal of positive plans for boosting housing supply across the UK. In welcome news for developers and buyers, the Government announced various new initiatives, including hundreds of new homes for the capital and additional garden cities.
One of the biggest announcements involved a £525m fund to help small and medium building companies increase developmental output, thereby helping to boost the number of jobs created within the industry.
Large developments were also announced as part of the strategy, with a commitment to building a garden city at Ebbsfleet (on the Thames Estuary), which is set to create 15,000 homes. Measures to identify locations for similar projects in the future were also promised.
The Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme has been extended to 2020, as expected by the HBF (Home Builders Federation) and many of the large housing developers. This is intended to give companies of various sizes confidence for the future, helping them to recruit the builders and apprentices needed to construct homes. The scheme currently delivers around 2,500 sales per month.
Of the increased house-building support, the Chancellor said: “Taken all together, the housing policies I announce today will support over 200,000 new homes for families.”
Increased housing and greater focus on establishing new garden cities is certainly positive news for those looking to undertake new projects, and may assuage fears over the housing shortage. A new £150m fund has also been created solely to support those wishing to build their own homes.
A spokesperson for CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) said: “The Chancellor’s announcement of substantial investment in housing and infrastructure projects is great news. The challenge now is to ensure that the sector has the skilled workforce that it will need to take advantage of the return to growth.”
With positive results now coming through and government supported funding now coming through it is a definite indicator of huge potential growth for the industry. Sapphire like other proactive companies are reevaluating and planning to be able to sustain the capacity needed for this growth. It can clearly be seen that the production requirements of balconies, for example, is going to accelerate and therefore Sapphire are investing now in related production equipment, processes and facilities.