Housing White Paper
Mark Scott, a specialist in residential property at leading law firm Blake Morgan, said: “The publishing of today’s White Paper heralds a significant shift in the national housing strategy that should be welcomed by many buyers, sellers and housebuilders.
“It has reached a tipping point where simply not enough homes are being built to meet demand and reforms are long overdue.
“Home ownership should be within everyone’s reach, but what is significant about these measures is they could be the first real catalyst for change in the rental market, which is at a record high, particularly in London.
“Incentives for developers to build higher where there is shortage of land, more affordable rental housing, and slashing timescales for housebuilding once planning permission is given, could breathe new life into the housing market at a time when it is really needed.
“The test will be whether the measures actually equate to more homes being delivered by developers given the instability in the past few years and uncertainty around Brexit.
“One of the proposals is for developers to commence site construction within two years of planning permission being granted as opposed to the current three year limit which will encourage quicker completion dates. This is a certainly a step in the right direction, but a real incentive in my view would be for developers to be offered a tax incentive to achieve early structural completion dates for their buyers and further reforms to the level of Stamp Duty Land Tax payable by first time buyers.”