In the Housing White Paper of 2017, the phrase, a “broken housing market” was used to describe the UK property market. That was a clearly provocative term but there were very few people disagreeing with the statement. In 2017, there were genuine concerns over the state of the property market, and of the future for the market, and now, one year later, has there been any changes or development in the market? The property market is hugely important to us at Gareth James and one year on from the Housing Paper, we look at what is new.
It was made very clear to the property industry that there is a need for more homes across the country and the sooner these homes are delivered, the better. There has been some progress on this matter, it would be wrong to say otherwise, but ultimately, the number of new homes may not have been as high as many people would have liked.
In March of 2018, a year on from the White Paper, a consultation on a revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was issued by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. This consultation builds on the White Paper and the 2017 Autumn Budget. The following measures are new or have been amended from previous work in this area:
· The introduction of a new standard method for calculating the need for local housing
· An expectation that a minimum of 10% of new homes on major sites (classed as sites that have 10 units or more) will be set aside for affordable home ownership
· A minimum of 20% of sites set aside for housing are 0.5ha or less, to allow for diverse opportunities for developers and housebuilders
· Local planning authorities will be encouraged to utilise planning conditions that bring forward developments
· Redevelopment of employment and retail land if it would be more effectively used for housing
· To introduce a legal requirement to review the Local Plan on a five-year basis and to implement specific measures when timely progress hasn’t been made by local authorities
· To protect the Green Belt but to redevelop land that has been previously developed in these areas
There is no denying that political elements have halted the progress that many people were hoping for within the housing market. Internal struggles within the Conservative Party have led to department changes that impacted on certain property decisions. However, it is hoped that the revised NPPF has refocused attention on what needs to be done to ensure that positive changes are made in and around the UK property market.
For The 2016/17 financial year, 217,350 new homes were built in the country, and this was the first time that the Government had met its self-imposed target since the financial crash. There is now optimism that the Government will meet its target of building one million new homes by 2020. If this momentum can be maintained, or improved upon, some of the pressure associated with the property market may ease.
If you are looking for property news and support, make sure you come and speak to Gareth James. We are property specialists and we are on hand to help you take the next step, no matter what you want to do.