Housing placed at the heart of Hammond's Autumn Budget – Key policy roundup

HQN Business Development Manager Jon Land goes over the key announcements in yesterday’s Autumn Budget for the housing sector:

Chancellor Philip Hammond put housing at the heart of his Autumn Budget this week with a raft of announcements which he hopes will raise housing supply to its highest level since 1970 and make homes more affordable 'in the long term'.

There was also significant news on the Universal Credit front, as the government attempted to allay growing concerns over its flagship benefit system by injecting £1.5bn into reforms designed to help new claimants.

In his Budget speech, Hammond said the government is "determined to fix the dysfunctional housing market, and restore the dream of home ownership for a new generation". Yes, we've heard all this before but this time there appears to be some serious intent behind the platitudes.

Here, then, are the key housing headlines:

– The Budget announced a 'comprehensive package' which will raise housing supply by the end of this Parliament to its highest level since 1970s, on track to reach 300,000 per year, through:

– Making available £15.3bn of new financial support for housing over the next five years, bringing total support for housing to at least £44bn over this period.

– Introducing planning reforms that will ensure more land is available for housing, and that 'maximises the potential' in cities and towns for new homes while protecting the Green Belt

– Providing £204m of funding for innovation and skills in the construction sector, including training a workforce to build new homes.

– And in a move that grabbed a lot of the headlines, the Chancellor also announced that first-time buyers would be 'permanently exempt' from stamp duty for properties up to £300,000.

More detail was set out in the Budget documents following the Chancellor's speech. In a whole chapter devoted to addressing the 'housing challenge', the government admits there is no 'single solution' and stresses the need to 'push forward on all fronts', underpinned by a sustainable plan to make housing more affordable in the long-term by 'building more homes in the right places'.

Members of the Housing Quality Network, and all our specialist network members can download the full roundup of all the housing related policies here.