HBF: Government initiatives could help housebuilders

The government could have a positive impact on the UK’s housebuilding sector as a result of some of its recently-announced proposals, a specialist has said.

Home Builders Federation (HBF) head of communications Steve Turner expressed his hope that the Funding for Lending Scheme will strengthen the industry.

He predicted that in the future, a number of other measures will be implemented that could improve the sector, which could involve “tweaking” existing policies, dealing with the lack of mortgage finance and releasing additional public real estate.

The HBF representative revealed his organisation is encouraging ministers to take these measures.

“Clearly the government is focused on increasing housebuilding,” he remarked.

Mr Turner suggested that the positive moves by the government could “definitely make a difference”, but claimed that ultimately, the UK needs to see a better flow of funding from banks to eligible homebuyers.

The NewBuy scheme is still in its infancy, but interest in the policy is beginning to rise, he asserted.

As more and more development firms sign up for the initiative, it could begin to deliver the number of projects it had been expected to, the construction sector specialist argued.

He also highlighted NewBuy, claiming that ministers need “more money for it”.

Although the initiative has been successful, it ran out of funding and requires additional state assistance, Mr Turner declared.

The expert had previously pointed out that the lack of lending is constraining the industry, with scarce development finance and mortgage lending “undoubtedly acting as a constraint”.

He said the HBF hopes to see the Funding for Lending Scheme positively influencing the rest of the housebuilding sector and advised the government to “keep the pressure on the banks” in order to stimulate the flow of finance.

Ultimately, the UK needs to see the banking industry lending more money to consumers, the specialist argued.

He also highlighted planning constraints as an issue impacting the health of the sector, saying that organisations are also finding that they cannot build a home even if they have the right level of finance.

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