Property  

L&G accelerates housing investment after Budget

L&G accelerates housing investment after Budget

Legal & General's chief executive has said the company will accelerate its plans to invest in housing after last week's Budget announcements.

Last week chancellor Philip Hammond announced a package of measures he said would address Britain's housing crisis as part of his Autumn Budget.

These measures included the abolition of stamp duty for first-time buyers on properties worth less than £300,000 and he gave £15.3bn of new financial support for house building over the next five years.

To increase the supply of new homes, Legal & General confirmed it is accelerating plans for housing at two sites in Berkshire.

Nigel Wilson, chief executive of Legal & General, said: "The Budget creates the right backdrop for a real boost to one of the key areas of infrastructure – housing supply.

"This is the first substantive supply side policy for almost 40 years, since council houses were sold in the 1980s.

"Legal & General will therefore accelerate our roll-out of housing and associated infrastructure including on larger sites where we can create whole new communities like Crowthorne and Arborfield.

"We welcome the chancellor’s stamp duty reform, which helps to address intergenerational unfairness, and would like to see this for young and old alike, enabling all age groups to access homes that best suit their needs.”

Legal & General's new housebuilding arm, Legal & General Homes, has bought a second 272 acre site in Arborfield near Wokingham where it will build 1,500 homes and has recently started work at its first development, a 250 acre, 1,000-home development in Crowthorne, in Berkshire.

James Lidgate, chief executive of Legal & General Homes, said:  “We have a chronic housing shortage in the UK and speeding up the delivery of new supply is key to tackling this crisis.

"Adopting a multi-tenure approach means that we can create homes in a much shorter timescale as well as supporting people throughout their different life stages. Rather than taking 15 years to build 1,500 new homes, we believe that we could achieve a 50 per cent improvement in delivery.”

damian.fantato@ft.com