The government has made a fair amount of noise about the end of austerity and whilst there were some economic positives in the budget, significant dark clouds remain. It’s also important to keep in mind that the economy is running at different speeds in different sectors and in different regions – seven years of relative sunshine in the London & South East residential sector has not been felt by all.
Whilst we welcome the government’s housing initiatives on both supply and demand side, building sufficient numbers of homes in the right places, remains a work in progress. Arguments will continue over how best to tackle this but, despite the political rhetoric, there are no quick and simple solutions. In the last 12 months over 75% of our buyers have utilised the Help to Buy scheme and we are therefore pleased that the government is providing further support for first time buyers, they are the lifeblood of the residential for-sale market.
The conversion of commercial premises to residential use has been a key part of our business model over the last five years and we are encouraged by the proposed consultation for permitted development rights for the conversion of vacant retail space into residential use both as a means to reinvigorate our town centres and provide further impetus to housing delivery.
By James Tregoning, Managing Director of London Green