Statement in response to government's housing and planning package

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has today announced a series of measures to support the recovery of the UK housing market. This includes the allocation of an additional £280m of funding for the government-backed FirstBuy initiative, designed to help first time buyers access the housing market and a stimulus package to encourage the establishment of a new private rented sector. The announcement was made by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, while being hosted by developer Crest Nicholson, at their Aldermere development in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, where more than 25% of purchasers have already been able to benefit from FirstBuy and similar shared equity initiatives.

Chris Tinker, Executive Board Director of Crest Nicholson, said:

“The continued backing of the FirstBuy scheme by the government comes as a great boost, not only for hopeful first time buyers, but also for the UK house building industry. Over the last 12 months Crest Nicholson has helped over 300 purchasers onto the property ladder through various shared equity schemes which are a key driver for the housing market and exactly what is needed to inject some movement into the housing market to help fuel economic recovery.

“The creation of a stronger private rented sector will also help to stimulate growth and meet housing need. We look forward to working with the government and investors under the proposed pilot schemes to further increase housing supply.

“The on-going support of the FirstBuy scheme is a good move from both government and industry that will offer purchasers some much-needed financial support to help bridge the deposit gap and secure an affordable mortgage. We and our fellow housebuilders must continue to support FirstBuy, as well as the government-funded NewBuy scheme - which not only offers support to first time buyers but also those looking to take the next step up the ladder, so that buyers are able to take full advantage of the assistance on offer. In light of the government’s on-going backing for FirstBuy and NewBuy, we now need more lenders to participate in the NewBuy scheme if it is to realise its full potential.

“It’s encouraging to see the government recognising the role UK construction and house building can have in driving growth. The construction industry employs nearly one tenth of the entire UK workforce and continued investment in the sector is essential. Today’s housing and planning package with its renewed focus on speeding up planning decisions and supporting house builder’s ability to deliver much-needed new homes, will encourage house builders such as Crest Nicholson to increase output creating the jobs and skills that are vital for the future of the economy.”

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