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News - 23 August 2013

Planned homes remain unbuilt.

The Local Government Association (LGA) study has found that little progress had been made on the almost 400,000 homes in England that have been given planning permission but have yet to be built. The LGA called on the government to remove restrictions on how much councils could spend on housing.

But Housing Minister Mark Prisk said the figures were "out of date and therefore misleading".

The LGA, which represents more than 350 councils in England, said it was time to fund the construction of new homes rather than making more changes to the planning system.

Councils said there were still thousands of "shovel-ready" sites where work had not begun because of a cap on the amount local authorities could invest in new housing.

The report, put together by building industry analysts Glenigan for the LGA, said the backlog was reduced by just 6,000 to 381,000 homes.

Mike Jones, chairman of the LGA's environment and housing board, said: "The bumper backlog of unbuilt homes and drop in the number of planning applications submitted to councils last year is a worrying sign that the housing market is not yet on the road to long-term recovery.

The government claims the housing market has now "turned a corner" - partly because of its Help to Buy scheme.

Tonmoy Kumar, Manager of the Accounts Department of ABDS comments:
“Housing has been identified in Whitehall as one of the quickest routes to boosting growth but government schemes to help buyers access finance risked creating a bubble if there was not an increase in house building to match it.”

The Help to Buy scheme, available to both first-time buyers and people moving into a newly built home worth up to £600,000, offers a government-backed loan of up to 20% of the price of the property and aims to make it easier to buy property with a deposit of just 5%.

From January next year, it will be extended to cover existing housing.

Critics claim the scheme is artificially inflating house prices, leading to future problems when the support is withdrawn.

If you need any help and advice for your business on the implications of central and local Government Funding initiatives and the construction industry, contact Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Tonmoy Kumar to discuss how ABDS can help

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

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