EG analyses the announcements and gauges reaction from one of the biggest pieces of policy in housing history.
Key policy changes from the housing white paper
- New planning rules allowing councils to proactively plan for long-term build-to-rent homes
- Promotion of longer-term tenancies in private rented schemes
- Housebuilders forced to start construction in two years instead of three
- A new housing delivery test, which will force local authorities to grant planning permissions if they fail to reach land release targets.
- Local councils to be allowed to increase planning fees by 20%
- Consultation launched on charging for planning appeal fees
- Smaller sites to be promoted in local plans for SME housebuilders
- Land registry use could be free, far more comprehensive and transparent
- Starter home policy watered down
- High density development expected where land is in low supply
Latest news and comment
Reaction and analysis
Housing minister Gavin Barwell has outlined the government’s thinking behind the white paper in a personal blog. He chastises the public sector for not having made enough land available.
“The state controls what you can build and where and in some parts of the country we are simply not releasing enough land to meet housing need.”
He also says that the policies will take time to have an impact and that plans need to be put in place for those most needy in the meantime. This he claims the government will do the following in order to make an impact:
- Continue to support people to buy their own home through Help to Buy and launching Starter Homes
- Help households who are priced out of the market to afford a decent home that is right for them through our investment in the Affordable Homes Programme, which delivers homes for shared ownership, rent to buy and affordable homes for rent
- Make renting fairer for tenants
- Take action to promote transparency and fairness for the growing number of leaseholders
- Improve neighbourhoods by continuing to crack down on empty homes and support areas most affected by second homes
- Encourage the development of housing that meets the needs of an ageing population
- Help the most vulnerable who need support with their housing, developing a sustainable and workable approach to funding supported housing in the future
- Do more to prevent homelessness by supporting households at risk before they reach crisis point as well as reducing rough sleeping
The Housing White Paper may not be perfect, but it sure is a creditable effort in a difficult arena. And, as Gavin Barwell himself says, repeatedly and candidly, there are no silver bullets, says Jackie Sadek. Read more…
CBRE’s Richard Lemon explains the lack of Starter Homes focus
The Housing White Paper has dropped starter homes from being a manadatory requirement for new development. CBRE’s Richard Lemon explains why.
White paper needs to look across the sector
The White Paper needs to look at all tenures and continue to focus on the new build market, according to Justin Gaze at Knight Frank.
White paper slammed as ‘feeble’
Shadow housing minister, Labour’s John Healey has slammed the white paper as “feeble beyond belief” in his response to Sajid Javid in the Commons and that “We were promised with a white paper. We are presented with a white flag”. Healey says the proposals show the Conservatives have given up on the concept of home ownership whilst offering little to help renters.
Real time market reaction from the
four biggest housebuilders in the UK
Housebuilders will be forced to speed up their delivery and start construction in two years instead of three as part of the government’s plans to fix the housing crisis.
New planning rules will also allow councils to “proactively plan” for more long-term build to rent homes.
As we watch and wait to see what else the government announces for housebuilders, here is how the markets are reacting:
BARRATT DEVELOPMENTS SHARE PRICE, REAL TIME
PERSIMMON SHARE PRICE, REAL TIME
TAYLOR WIMPEY SHARE PRICE, REAL TIME
BERKELEY GROUP SHARE PRICE, REAL TIME
So the housing white paper will definitely get launched tomorrow. I’m a bit embarrassed about how many times I have made predictions in public about the date, but it would seem that this time there is no room for doubt. And JLL has just put up the sainted Adam Challis to comment on Twitter this afternoon, so it must be true. Read more…
Housing minister Gavin Barwell has said the housing white paper will focus on four key areas: land release, speeding up build-out rates, diversifying the market and de-politicising the planning system. Read more…
PROPERTY’S POINT OF VIEW
Expecting big push for Build to Rent in today's upcoming #HousingWhitePaper.
— Paul Wellman (@PaulWellman_EG) February 7, 2017
— Michael Vivona (@MichaelVivona) February 7, 2017
— Peston on Sunday (@pestononsunday) February 5, 2017