Government Grant to Boost Construction and Property Investment
Stalled development projects and abandoned building sites are a common site across the UK at the moment. Many projects grind to a halt because the money runs out and there is not enough confidence in the market for investors to pick up deserted sites, even at knock down prices. The net effect is that the quantity and quality of new homes to rent and buy across the UK is not as good as it should be.
In an attempt to address the issue and deepen the new property pool government money has been pledged. In the recent budget the government announced that it would be giving grants to make it financially easier to build houses. Grants will also be given to those looking to restart projects that were forced to stop due to financial constraints. The proposal sounds promising as it means that there will be more; builders working on sites, new properties for sale, and less half constructed buildings.
Although the announcement was seen as promising and a step in the right direction the amount being offered was criticised. Many property professionals and investors feel that the amount pledged, which is £150 million, is not enough to have a significant impact on the market. The Chief Executive of the National Association of Estate Agents, Peter Bolton King, described the action as “encouraging, but a drop in the ocean.” He also asserted that more needed to done to help the whole of the property market “which is so vital for the economy.”
David Orr of the National Housing Federation also expressed his disappointment at the budget. He stated that “it is disappointing that the chancellor has failed to put investment in housing at the forefront of driving forward economic growth in the UK.” Many property professionals see helping first time buyers as crucial to the economy and there is widespread disappointment that more of an emphasis has not been placed on this.