Budget 2014: ‘We are getting Britain building’

The chancellor has unveiled a raft of new housing policies which will support over 200,000 new family homes and will offer £500m of finance to small house building firms to “get Britain building”.

In today’s (19 March) Budget, Mr Osborne said that while house building is up 23 per cent, it is “not enough” and the government is making further reforms to its planning system.

He said: “It’s why we’re signing city deals across the country to get more built – with a new funding deal this week for Cambridge.

“And it’s why we’re giving people a new Right to Build their own homes and providing £150m of finance today to support that.

“It’s why we’re funding regeneration of some of the urban housing estates that are in the worst condition, and we’re extending the current Support for Mortgage Interest Scheme to 2016.

“And it’s why we’ve got Help to Buy.”

Mr Osborne also confirmed the government is extending the Help to Buy equity loan scheme “for the rest of the decade, so we get 120,000 new homes built”, following Monday’s (17 March) announcement.

He said: “In the south east where the pressure is greatest we’re going to build new homes in Barking Riverside, regenerate Brent Cross, and build the first new Garden City in almost a hundred years at Ebbsfleet.

“We’re going to build 15,000 homes there, put in the infrastructure, set up the development corporation and make it happen.

“And we will be publishing a prospectus on the future of Garden Cities. Taken all together, the housing policies I announce today will support over 200,000 new homes for families.”

Mr Osborne added that although the Office for Budget Responsibility’s forecast that house prices will remain below their real terms peak until at least 2018, the committee will be “particularly vigilant” against the emergence of potential risks in the housing market, following fears of a housing market bubble.

Furthermore, Mr Osborne announced that residential property worth over £500,000 that is bought via a corporation will be required to pay 15 per cent stamp duty.

The aim of this is to prevent people stop paying stamp duty by owning homes through a company. This does not apply to homes that are rented out, he added.

Mr Osborne said: “Many of these are empty properties held in corporate envelopes to avoid stamp duty. This abuse will end.”