Housing: David Cameron vows to 'get Britain building'


David Cameron: ''We are determined...to get the market moving''

Buyers of new homes will be able to borrow up to 95% of their value as part of plans the government says will help get "Britain building again".

The mortgage indemnity scheme, in which the government will underwrite part of the risk to lenders, could help up to 100,000 people in England.

It is part of a wider strategy to build more homes and boost home ownership.

Labour said it was "too little, too late" and did not compensate for earlier cuts to housing budgets.

Building more homes is one of the government's economic priorities, with the number of new ones being built at its lowest level since World War II, and with rents and prices remaining high while mortgage lending is restricted.

Just 121,200 new homes were made available in 2010-11, half of what ministers say are needed.

At the heart of the coalition's approach is an indemnity scheme which will enable lenders to provide mortgages of up to 95% of the value of newly built homes to would-be buyers - most of whom are expected to be first-time purchasers - supported by government guarantees.


  • Mortgages of up to 95% of the value of new homes to be offered with government underwriting part of the risk
  • £400m public fund to help developers "unblock" stalled housing schemes
  • Largest discounts for social tenants wanting to own their properties under right to buy
  • More public sector land to be made available for building
  • Planning obligations on stalled projects reviewed
  • Up to £150m to help bring empty housing back into use
  • Consult on "pay to stay" so households with high salaries pay market rents

Addressing the CBI's annual conference in London, Mr Cameron said it was not his aim to create "another borrowing boom" but to help the many people who could not afford huge deposits needed to buy properties.

"When first-time buyers on a good salary cannot get a reasonable mortgage, the whole market grinds to a halt," he said.

"And that ricochets around the economy, affecting builders, retailers, plumbers - all the people that depend on a housing market that is moving.

"If we don't do something like this we are not going to get this vital market moving... We will restart the housing market and get Britain building again."

Ministers will also intervene to kick-start some of 130,000 building projects which are estimated to have been approved but delayed by funding problems.

New homes

A "Get Britain Building Fund" will see developers compete for a slice of £400m to take forward "shovel-ready" projects which meet the right criteria, among them a commitment to affordable homes.

This initiative will begin in July and aims to lead to 16,000 new homes being built, providing work for 32,000 people.

It is hoped that about 450,000 mainly affordable homes will be built by 2015, many of them on publicly-owned brownfield sites, although the government is not setting any specific targets.

Other parts of the strategy include empty properties being brought back into residential use and new providers being encouraged to enter the social housing market.

Council house sales

To help potential buyers, tenants of social housing are to get the right to buy their home - a hallmark of the Thatcher government in the 1980s - for as little as half the market price.

The money will then be used to build more affordable housing, with ministers saying they will build a new home for every home sold off in this way.

The House Builders Federation said the lack of mortgage availability since the 2008 banking crisis had been "the biggest constraint" on new homes and the indemnity scheme would help to address this.

"In recent years, many people have been unable to realise their dreams of buying a home because of the huge deposits required by lenders," its executive chairman Stewart Baseley said.

"This scheme will be allow people to buy their new home on realistic terms and help, in particular, hard-pressed first time buyers."


Labour say the government have failed to get a grip on the problem in its first year in power and the situation has got worse in some parts of the country.

"These measures are too little, too late from the man who was responsible for choking off growth in the British economy when he came to power," opposition leader Ed Miliband said.

Single mum Kylie Bennett has recently split up with her partner and urgently needs somewhere to live

"Putting back just 10% of the £4bn he cut from housing investment last year will convince no-one he is serious about getting growth back into the economy."

The opposition have urged ministers to levy a £2bn tax on bank bonuses to pay for 25,000 new homes and 100,000 new construction jobs for young people, as part of their five-point plan for boosting growth.

And housing charity Shelter said the government's plans to move more people from social housing into the private rented sector could increase homelessness.

"There is a real danger that as rents go up that welfare bills go up as well," its chief executive Campbell Robb said. "There needs to be much more alignment between housing and welfare."

Other measures in the strategy include a pledge to consult on 'Pay to Stay' proposals where social tenants on high salaries will pay up to market rents if they want to continue living in taxpayer-subsidised homes.

Ministers also say there will be tougher action to tackle "the outrage" of 50,000 unlawfully occupied social homes.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 1168.

    I'll welcome anything to help first time buyers (or perspective first time buyers like myself) onto the first rud of the property ladder. But I'm doubtful that this particular scheme will make any big difference.

    The biggest thing to help the property merket now would be some stability in the wider economy.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1167.

    To buy a home you need good income with a stable job. Don't see many of those around at the moment.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1166.

    As an fully qualified Architectural Technician who lives in the West Midlands (worst area hit in recesion by the way) I welcome the news to build/refurb homes. I have been struggling for work for the past four years and there is still nothing out there. BRING IT ON!!!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1165.

    We have been lobbying for reduced VAT on all domestic build projects.We are finding increasingly that private clients are not proceeding with professional contractors due to the cheaper prices offered by 'cash builders' who are not regulated and do not contribute to the economy or to the reputation of building professionals.It isn't just the big developers that need help but the smaller companies.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1164.

    "This initiative will begin in July and aims to lead to 16,000 new homes being built, providing work for 32,000 people". Northern Rock was sold to Virgin two years ahead of the deadline set by EU. Well done David Cameron for focusing on the right priorities and deal with the economy with the same urgency.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1163.

    Stark staring bonkers – it’ll all end up in tears I tell you! Sub prime all over again, but the risks are all with the government, meanwhile the fat cats will get even fatter

  • rate this

    Comment number 1162.

    If ever a country needs leadership we do.Cameron for all his talk has turned out to be Blair mk.2. Siliband is like the proverbial .... in a whirlwind,so no hope there. Clegg! don't make me laugh.It's not home ownership that's bothering people.The last thing they dream of is buying a house when they don't even have a job to buy food.Too many fancy ideas,not enough action on basics.We need a leader

  • rate this

    Comment number 1161.

    No, we should get over this obsession with property.We also need to lose the idea that the world prior to 2008 is coming back or can come back.

    It may seem trite but people are going to have to face the fact that being sold an image of yourself based on what you own is just too expensive and survival will be down to finding a different way, both nationally and personally.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1160.


    This'll get the country moving again. Council homes for those that want one, and every penny the tenant pays out of their own pocket in rent, goes towards buying the house at build price. No work, no stake in house.

    Should bring prices down and cover most of the costs!

    Ouch! Do u think u actually know what you are talking about? Sounds like double dutch. Glad u r not PM!

  • rate this

    Comment number 1159.

    In my area new build houses are at least 30% more to buy than established houses thats why they are empty! In already impossible buying conditions this is a no-brainer. 95% of heavily inflated prices doesnt help at all. This government is so detached its embarassing.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1158.

    NO POINT MOANING ON HERE ALL DAY , EVERYBODY has arrived at the same conclusion , trouble is you have got another 3 .5 yrs before you can do anything about it except listen to more lies .

  • rate this

    Comment number 1157.

    We now face the dilemma of having recent first time buyers in negative equity, or would-be first time buyers forever renting. Ideally we should aim for a stable house prices for a decade or more. Salaries will hopefully catch up.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1156.

    Fine well and good building new homes but the banks aren't lending, folks are skint and there's no jobs going that can sustain the required mortgage.

    I doubt that stacking shelves and part time jobs won't provide a mortgage the end result is that folks will buy them to rent out.... no prizes for guessing who to!

    About time our MPs got real and faced reality instead of these obnoxious ideas.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1155.

    So we give (sorry lend) hundreds of billions to our banks in order that they can lend to us. When they don't the government shrugs its shoulders and borrows some more money in order to lend it to the people the banks should be lending to in the first place. The banks either know something, which is why they aren't lending or they have nicked our money.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1154.

    This sounds like a reasonable approach to giving the housing market a much needed kick-start, though I'd prefer to see it applying to all purchases, not just new houses. Unlike many of those posting here I suggest that the government's priority has to to restore confidence so that house prices are, in the first instance, brought back to 2007-2008 levels thus eliminating much negative equity.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1153.

    Rational Viewpoin

    It would appear that a lot of us, public or parliamentarians have learned nothing.Which is itself enough cause for doom saying.

    Blind hope or dogma, optimist or an unable to face reality, postive thinking or spoilt child refusal to accept restraint? You take your pick but either way our options to recover from this situation seem have just got kicked.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1152.

    I work in construction and am only working 3 days .
    The condems "cuts" plus the fact that we can no longer get the "credit" we need to build has severely trashed our business. We used to Design, detail, fabricate and erect up to 500 tonne steelframes now were "lucky" to get 5 tonnes. All the bigger jobs we cannot now fund.

    Whats that song "Money makes the world go around"

  • rate this

    Comment number 1151.

    Basically a slap in the face in all those hard pressed householders who've been paying tax & council tax for years.

    The public housing stock didn't come from thin air, it was paid for by the taxes, of often hard pressed, families who paid there own way and brought their houses by dint of their own efforts.

    This is the same old, same old 80's Tory scam, using someone else's money to get votes

  • rate this

    Comment number 1150.

    Who voted TORY ? YOUR fired !! Along with the Clowns who voted LIEBOUR , ................TRUTH WILL OUT SOON ENOUGH . WHEN IS ( CALL ME DAVE ) getting his house Re possessed ? NEVER , YOUR PAYING HIS MORTGAGE

  • rate this

    Comment number 1149.

    Have we learned nothing?
    By all means invest and build stuff, but propping up 95% mortgages rather than let house prices slide to more affordable levels is madness.

    The markets slump on levels of debt and the Government are simply encouraging people to get into it.

    We really are hooked onto blind hope.


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