The British Property Federation (BPF) has urged the Government to focus on delivery of all housing tenures, not just owner-occupation, in response to Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement that national planning policy will be changed to allow developers to build and sell Starter Homes in place of affordable housing requirements.
The organisation has warned that, although initiatives to create more homes for sale are welcome, high house prices and the growing number of private renters in the UK means that more must be done to encourage the purpose-built rental sector, which has £30 billion ready to invest, and the potential to deliver a significant number of new homes.
Starter Homes will be sold at a 20% discount to first time buyers under the age of 40. The government has pledged to deliver 200,000 by 2020.
Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation, commented:
“Politicians talk about Generation Rent as if it is something to be ashamed of, when this should not be the case. Countries such as Germany and the USA have thriving rental markets, where people happily live in institutionally-backed, purpose-built, high quality rented accommodation for many years.
“While we are not against owner occupation, and see Starter Homes as a welcome initiative, we are aware that such a policy is stoking demand for home ownership, rather than focusing on meeting supply.
“Build to rent has enormous potential to deliver additional homes to the UK, and government must not overlook this in blind pursuit of making us a nation of homeowners.”