Chancellor Phillip Hammond is putting his money where his mouth is, writes Tom Broughton
This week chancellor Phillip Hammond put his money where his mouth is. If implemented, it’s the single biggest set of housing reforms in a generation. You’ve only got to look at the top end of his roll call to appreciate the enormity of the announcement.
This is a serious stimulus. A pledge to pump £44bn of funding into the housing sector. An urgent inquiry into land hoarding and planning reform. A promise of 300,000 new homes a year. The abolishing of stamp duty for first-time buyers on homes worth up to £300,000 and a focus on undeveloped and empty properties.
Depending on their size and shape, housebuilders will have one eye over their shoulders on their existing portfolios while seeing clearly the opportunity from the reforms going ahead. Just when many thought this government was a short-term, lame duck with their backs to the wall, Hammond has come out fighting in this Budget statement.
The roll out of these reforms will, of course, depend upon the political, economic fall-out resulting from the success, or not, of Brexit negotiations. But, for now, this Budget announcement is radical and wide-ranging and is the best stimulus that the housing sector could have wished for.