Following the Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Autumn Statement this afternoon, John Elliott, Managing Director of Millwood Designer Homes comments:
“I was delighted to hear many of the announcements made in Chancellor Philip Hammond’s recent Budget, and was pleasantly surprised at the announcements for the housing market and the goal of making the ‘dream of home ownership a reality for all generations’. The Help to Buy scheme has been extremely effective and successful, helping over 320,000 people to buy a home. The key to this scheme is that it is secured lending. Unlike student loans which may not get re-paid, the Help to Buy product is ultimately a second mortgage, ensuring there is no drain on the public purse. This is excellent news and I am delighted the scheme has been extended.
I thoroughly welcome the additional £34m funding to develop construction skills. It has been a loss of construction skills that has significantly impacted the industry following the last recession, therefore in order to implement and achieve the ambitious new homes targets set by the Government, we require a skilled and experienced workforce. This will not only help developers build thousands of additional homes, but will also help us deliver those homes more quickly.
With regard to reviewing the residential planning system and investigating why homes have not been built, I believe the Government have their “head in the sand”. It is utterly incorrect that house builders hoard land – this has never been a practice at Millwood. We aim to build as soon as possible once planning permission has been granted. What is time-consuming is clearing the myriad of conditions that come with the consent and utilities companies sometimes taking months before they start work.
It was of course good news to learn about the abolishment of the stamp duty land tax for first-time buyer purchases up to £300,000. This will certainly have a positive and significant effect on the lower end of the market and every little helps. I do believe the Chancellor needs to also help the top end of the market too, as a there is a blockage which needs to be cleared. As Sajid Javid has previously suggested, older generation’s need to downsize, but this is currently not feasible, as the top end of the market is stagnant entirely due to the penal and excessive stamp duty levy.
Of course, I was most interested in his pledges to the housing sector, however, I was also pleased to hear of the frozen petrol duty and millennials rail card, I thought these were very nice touches.”