After the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget announcement, it was clear that the Conservative Government would continue to tackle the country’s housing crisis as a matter of priority.
The latest official figures indicate that there will be several construction procurement initiatives to come from this commitment as the Government strives to reach the target of one million new homes by 2020.
Here is a brief overview of the latest figures and commentary surrounding the topic.
UK housebuilding on the rise
The past couple of years have been positive ones for UK housebuilding, with 217,000 homes in England alone added to the market in 2016-17.
During his Autumn Budget 2017, Philip Hammond pledged that 300,000 new homes would be built in England each year, and it seems that this boost is being felt across the country with areas such as Renfrewshire benefiting from a £50 million investment.
What has brought this increased investment? The Government is acting on reports from bodies such as the National Audit Office. In a report issued in January last year, the NAO announced that: “Housing is one of the Government’s key priorities. For many people, the availability and affordability of housing has become increasingly difficult in recent years.”
A new national housing agency – Homes England – has been launched.
To help reach its target, the Government has just launched the Homes England, a successor to the Homes and Communities Agency in January 2018.
Housing is a devolved matter which means that the Homes England will only drive forward change in fixing the housing market in England.
The rebranded agency also aims to help SMEs find success in construction procurement. Housing Secretary Sajid Javid launched the agency on a visit to Alconbury in Cambridgeshire, a former airfield where 5000 new homes will be built.
Mr Javid said: “The new agency will be key in replicating this approach right across the country and will help us build a Britain fit for the future.”
How will Brexit affect construction procurement?
There have been mixed reports on how Brexit in 2019 will affect housebuilding in the UK. Many have speculated that Brexit will have a negative impact on construction procurement; however, Samuel Tombs, a chief UK economist, has said support from the Government “should keep housebuilding motoring along”.
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