“If people can buy, builders can build,” said Stewart Baseley, the Home Builders Federation’s executive chairman

Housing shutterstock 97092326

The Home Builders Federation (HBF) has urged the government to clarify the future of the Help To Buy scheme beyond its expiry date in four years’ time.

As the Conservatives gathered this week in Manchester for the party’s annual conference, and as Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond outlined plans to top up the scheme with an additional £10bn, the HBF reminded ministers that since its inception in 2013 Help To Buy had helped to boost the supply of new-build homes.

It suggested more than 200,000 people, most of whom were first-time buyers, currently lived in new homes bought through the scheme.

There was also what the federation called a “strong correlation” between planning permissions – 321,982 were granted in the 12 months to June this year, according to its latest Housing Pipeline report – and new home completions two or three years down the line.

Investment decisions on land, training and supply chains needed to factor in whether the scheme would still be supporting sales after 2021, when the current scheme comes to an end.

“If people can buy, builders can build,” said Stewart Baseley, the HBF’s executive chairman.

“Confidence in demand is crucial to future build rates. The figures show that if demand for new homes remains strong and the planning system processes applications efficiently, further increases in build rates can be delivered in the coming years.

“The Help to Buy scheme hasn’t just helped 200,000 people buy a home; it has helped them to buy a new build home which is, in turn, boosting supply and generating huge benefits for communities, councils and the Exchequer.

“We need to see confirmation from government as to the future of the very successful Help to Buy scheme post 2021. We also need to see the proposals to improve the planning system outlined in the White Paper moved forward and implemented,” he added.