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Most brokers believe Brexit has set back plans to tackle housing shortage

Nearly two thirds (63%) of property finance brokers believe that plans to tackle the housing shortage have been set back by the Brexit process, United Trust Bank’s Broker Sentiment Poll has found. 

The poll carried out amongst 100 brokers operating in the fields of bridging, development, mortgage and structured finance, showed 16% believe plans have been set back by more than three years.

Paul Turton, head of sales – property development, United Trust Bank, said: “As well as creating considerable uncertainty for house builders, businesses and individuals, many believe that the government’s efforts to navigate Brexit have caused it to divert attention away from some very important issues.

“However, more progress may have been made in supporting the Government’s challenging housing targets than you might think.

“For example, The HBF/Glenigan Housing Pipeline Report indicates that net housing supply increased by an unprecedented 78% in the past five years and the 361,971 new homes for which planning permission was granted in the 12 months to October 2018 was the highest moving average total since 2006.

“Other positives have come from the extension of Help to Buy and the refreshed National Planning Policy Framework which appears to be having a positive impact along with the removal of the local authority spending cap.

“In addition, Homes England’s enhanced role as a ‘housing accelerator’ with a reported £27bn to spend over the next few years should benefit SME housebuilders, large developers, local authorities and housing associations.

“By unlocking and enabling land and investing in infrastructure where required their aim is to tackle the development land shortage and get more homes built where they are needed. They certainly appear to have the appetite for change and the pockets to deliver it.”

Almost half (47%) believe the Brexit process has set back plans to tackle the housing shortage by up to three years, while 37% said the process has had no effect on plans to tackle the housing shortage.

Less than a quarter (22%) of brokers could name the current secretary of state for housing, communities and local government, James Brokenshire MP.

Some 36% of brokers also believe that the government has not done enough to communicate its housing strategy.

Turton added: “It’s fair to say that there has been something of a revolving door at the housing ministry with five different secretaries of state since 2010.

“It’s perhaps unsurprising then that the current secretary of state for housing, James Brokenshire MP, isn’t the most recognised of senior Ministers amongst brokers. On the plus side, it looks like good progress has been made on his watch, nonetheless.”


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