Originally posted as a blog for Inside Housing.
So much has been written about Help to Buy that by now everyone knows what they think.
If you’re a housebuilder the equity loan scheme introduced in 2013 has meant more new homes and more buyers.
If you unable to get a mortgage, the scheme may have offered a first step on to the housing ladder that would not otherwise have been available but you may be wondering about the quality of your new build.
If you’re a critic, even if you concede the first two points, the biggest impact has been on housebuilder share prices, dividends and executive bonuses.
Evaluations published so far have provided evidence to back up both sides of the argument. On the positive side, 37% of borrowers said they could not have afforded to buy without it; on the negative, that could also mean 63% did not need help.
The new feature of a report published yesterday by the Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is that it takes a step back and considers the impact on the government and on wider housing policy.
Originally posted on September 4 on my blog for Inside Housing.
Austerity may be over, according to the chancellor, but it remains to be seen what that really means for the spending programmes that matter most to housing.
What Sajid Javid meant by that boast in Wednesday’s Spending Round speech was that all departmental budgets will be increased at least in line with inflation in 2020/21.
But it soon became clear – if it wasn’t already – that housing is not one of the so-called ‘people’s priorities’ of crime, education and health and so does not qualify for any headline-grabbing investment.
The only housing-related announcement in the speech itself was a £54m increase in funding for homelessness and rough sleeping to £422m in 2020/21, which Mr Javid said amounted to a 13% real terms increase.