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Builders’ body cautiously backs Labour housing plans

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Labour has announced that if they win the general election, they will make the mortgage guarantee scheme for first time buyers a permanent policy. Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer said he wanted to “turn the dream of owning a home into a reality.”
Richard Beresford, Chief Executive of the National Federation of Builders (NFB), said: “First time buyer lending schemes are absolutely vital to buyers and builders, but without a huge increase in supply, there is a risk that buyers overpay for homes. This is why Labour’s commitment to 300,000 homes a year is so important.
“Demand led policies that are unsupported by supply strategies create unintended consequences, such as fuelling house price rises and risking negative equity on certain home types, like apartments, because premiums were paid to get on the housing ladder rather than to purchase the appropriate homes.”
Titled ‘Freedom to Buy,’ the Labour leader emphasised that “a generation faces becoming renters for life” and he aims to ensure the new generation can achieve the ‘security and foundation for family’ that he experienced.
Rico Wojtulewicz, Head of Policy and Market Insight at the NFB and House Builders Association (HBA), said: “Sir Starmer has noted that the policy will also help builders, and he is correct. However, we urge him to consider whether the policy could be expanded and targeted to support builders who build for local markets.
SMEs, in particular, target specific local buyers because they understand local needs better than most. Sometimes this might be first time buyers, while other times it may be movers wanting to start a family and needing a bigger place. By working with and understanding SMEs, Labour could unlock the security that people need, particularly in rural areas, while ensuring those delivering local homes are supported.”