According to new research among property developers, releasing more publicly owned brownfield land for development is the biggest opportunity arising from the government’s recently launched housing white paper.
Over two-thirds (69%) of developers think increasing the availability of brownfield sites will offer the most potential for developers.
The proposed reduction in the time permitted by local authorities to approve planning applications from three to two years (49%), continuation of the Help to Buy scheme (45%) and increasing the focus on building homes in the affordable sector (41%) were the second, third and fourth most popular measures respectively.
Despite showing support for elements of the housing white paper, property developers are sceptical of the government’s target to build one million homes by 2020 with just one in five (21%) believing this target to be realistic.
Amicus’ research revealed a number of additional policies property developers would like to see the government introducing in order to address the housing crisis: more than three-quarters (78%) called for a repeal of the stamp duty rises and tax relief reductions on landlords; more than two in five (44%) would like to see incentives for elderly people to downsize and free up family homes; four in ten (41%) think stamp duty should become a seller’s tax rather than a buyer’s tax and 37% recommended a suspension in capital gains tax to encourage more land to come to the market.
Keith Aldridge, founder & managing Director at Amicus Property Finance, said: “Property developers appear highly supportive of a number of the ideas in the white paper, particularly releasing more brownfield land to the market and the greater focus on affordable housing. The existing ‘Help to Buy’ initiative has also been well received by many developers and we have already financed a number of successful developments in the south east.”
“Though large scale government investment plays a part in stimulating supply, developers see the current tax laws as one of the biggest obstacles to solving the housing crisis, particularly repealing the recent stamp duty increases for landlords.”