The Inside Edge
Housing Minister Grant Shapps has welcomed what he referred to as an overwhelming response to the government’s Get Britain Building Campaign amidst news that home building is on the increase and the new build market has also seen positive growth.
The £420m fund was launched only two months ago yet early reports indicate that there have been 176 expressions of interest, meaning that the project is already three times oversubscribed. It’s claimed that the ease of application has seen smaller building companies compete alongside the big developers and that is one of the reasons why the programme has attracted so much interest during its early stages.
All of the bids received so far would cover a total of 392 sites and they are expected to see schemes resurrected that have previously ground to a halt. In addition, once the project is fully underway it is expected to provide up to 30,000 extra jobs in the construction sector by 2014.
“With the Prime Minister putting housing centre stage in the road to economic recovery, we are pulling out all the stops to get the jobs created and the red tape cut to ensure we get the homes this country needs built,” Mr Shapps announced.
“So I am greatly encouraged by the clamour from developers large and small to get Britain building by applying for a share of our £420m fund to unlock stalled sites across the country.”
Mr Shapps went on to say that some of those ‘stalled’ sites had been identified with a view to getting work started again.
“I can confirm that 18 of the most difficult sites have already been identified to potentially share £45m to resolve the issues they face, get builders back on site and over 1,300 homes built. I look forward to seeing the results of the competition and the houses that result,” he added.
Meanwhile, figures released last week claim that house building is already on the increase with a rise in new builds for the last quarter of 2011. With regards to housing completions, the survey shows an increase from the September figure of 26,180 to 26,730 at the end of the year.
In addition, Kevin Wilkins of Bovis Homes claims that the new homes market is already showing the first signs of recovery.
“It is always difficult to predict the market place but the advantages and benefits of buying new are clearly having an impact with homebuyers,” Mr Wilkins said.
The figures relating to new build completions are still down by around 48 per cent compared with the peak period in 2005 but with positive news coming from the Get Britain Building Fund, further rises are anticipated.