Leading Northern housebuilder Avant Homes has warned that the Chancellor’s Budget policies missed the mark by disproportionately benefiting buyers and builders in the South of England.
New research by Avant reveals that UK workers are concerned that a lack of quality family housing in the North could derail the Government’s Northern Powerhouse plans.
Despite the Government’s ambitions to create an additional 850,000 jobs in the North through the Northern Powerhouse scheme, Avant Homes said that such growth is unrealistic given the severity of the region’s current housing shortage.
This view is supported by the findings of an independent survey of 2,000 UK residents in full-time employment, which found that 77 per cent of Northern workers believe the region urgently needs more quality, family housing.
Almost half (46 per cent) of younger workers based outside the region (aged 25-34) said that the current lack of quality housing was deterring them from moving to the North for work.
Separate analysis from Avant Homes also shows that the changes to Stamp Duty announced in the Autumn Budget (to exempt first time buyers from paying the duty up to £300,000), will disproportionately benefit buyers in the South of England.
The firm said the biggest beneficiaries of the change are first time buyers in London who will save almost £5,000 on average and those in the South East, who will save close to £4,000.
By comparison, first time buyers across the North of England will see a far smaller benefit, saving as little as £12 in the North East and £260 in Yorkshire from the policy change.
In response to the Autumn Budget, Avant Homes has launched its own Northern Powerhouse Building Manifesto, calling on Chancellor Philip Hammond to rethink his proposals in four key housing areas to ensure the Government’s Northern Powerhouse agenda continues to move forward.
Colin Lewis, CEO of Avant Homes, said: “The Autumn Budget was a real missed opportunity and big disappointment for the North of England.
"Yet again, we saw misguided Government policies slanted in favour of the South and an outright failure to address several key elements that could be make or break for the success of its Northern Powerhouse project.
“Our research of workers across the UK highlights that the chronic and expanding undersupply of housing in the North of England is a key element missing from the Government’s housing strategy, which needs specific policies targeted at the region, rather than the Chancellor’s current ‘one-size- fits-all’ approach.
“As our Northern Powerhouse Building Manifesto sets out, if the Government can fix the North’s broken housing market, this will play a huge part in ensuring fairer housing provision for all and, ultimately, a lasting legacy for the project.”