New homes, housebuilding, and the new Labour government

The country voted and there’s no denying that Labour’s landslide win in the polls is a major positive for housebuilders. The same can be said for first-time buyers too, who remain optimistic the new government can make much-needed changes to support home ownership.

We look more closely at the plans for new homes, housebuilding and supporting home ownership under the new Labour government, alongside what experts in the industry think.


“Get Britain building again” 

The new Labour government hasn’t wasted any time in announcing news of their commitment to building new homes. The new Chancellor stepped up only days into the role to confirm a host of changes and that housebuilding will be ramped up, as part of her first speech. 

She made a promise that the government will build 1.5 million homes over the next five years, as the Labour party had originally pledged in their election manifesto. And included in this number of new homes, there will be affordable homes, and social homes built. 

And one of the changes which brings the most relief to housebuilders, is a promise to reform the planning system. Chancellor Rachel Reeves confirmed in her speech, “… as well as unlocking new housing, we will also reform the planning system to deliver the infrastructure that our country needs.” 

So, we can expect many more new homes across, hopefully, many different parts of the country.


Mandatory housebuilding targets 

Go back to 2019 and the Conservative government pledged to build 300,000 homes a year, with mandatory building targets for all local authorities. That was all good until the targets were scrapped in December last year, which led to councils revising their housebuilding plans down, mostly over concerns of the damage building homes could do to local areas. 

The new chancellor has confirmed the return of these mandatory housing targets and that ‘no’ will not always be the answer to addressing new homes in a given area. Instead, local communities will need to decide where the housing will be built, as it will need to be built somewhere. 

The restoring of the mandatory housing targets will sit alongside reform of the National Planning Policy Framework, which will take a growth-focused approach to planning. Green belt boundaries will be reviewed, and local plans will be told to prioritise brownfield and grey belt land for development to meet housing targets. There will also be 300 additional planning officers put in place across the country.


What does this mean for buyers? 

More homes, and in particular, more affordable homes will mean more choice for buyers. And with the increase in choice, there’ll be a reduction in the difficult supply gap which the country has been struggling with over the last few years. With less competition for homes, we could see house prices stabilise or even fall slightly. 

But the more housing options there are, the more house buyers will benefit, whether first-time buyers, someone looking to buy a bigger home, or downsizers. 


How has the housebuilding industry responded? 

Positively, of course as everyone recognises the need for change. And giving greater assistance to planning departments with more planning officers will definitely make a difference. 

However, there is also an air of ‘let’s see what happens next’ as big industry insiders are keen to witness real action. Many are hoping that these big speeches are the start of a long-term plan to deliver new homes in the country, including affordable homes, rather than a new government trying to make its mark. 

For housebuilders, the issues around building in a difficult economic environment remain. From labour issues, high cost of materials and high interest rates, to the lack of resources in local authority planning departments. Can the numbers quoted by Labour be achieved? 

It’s going to be an interesting few months as the new government gets to grips with the many issues across the country. Meanwhile, we all remain hopeful that new housing can and will be delivered.  

If you are looking for a dream new build home, there’s no need to wait for any new government reforms with planning. New homes are being built across the country right now! So, get started with your new home search by simply typing the postcode or location where you’d like to live, here.


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