Developers want next government to boost support for first-time buyers

New Shawbrook survey also reveals other changes property developers would like to see from a new government

Developers want next government to boost support for first-time buyers

A vast majority or 86% of developers believe the next government should increase support for first-time buyers, with 39% asserting it should be a top priority, a recent survey by Shawbrook has revealed.

The survey’s findings come as the general election is just weeks away, prompting developers to evaluate the potential impact of a new government on the construction sector and property market.

Developers appear to favour a Labour government, with 90% believing it would benefit the housing market overall. Labour has been particularly vocal on housing issues, announcing plans to prioritise building on the ‘grey belt’ and brownfield sites, which has piqued developers’ interest. However, only 9% of those surveyed think Labour will specifically assist first-time buyers.

The survey also asked developers about changes they would like to see from a new government. Among the responses, 35% called for easier planning permission processes, 32% wanted new schemes to help first-time buyers, 31% sought more support for innovative construction methods such as modular construction, and 30% advocated for stamp duty holidays.

Other notable suggestions from developers include public-private partnerships (30%), removal of planning red tape to incentivise developers (30%), scrapping stamp duty for all first-time buyers, low deposit mortgages (27%), and introduction of a successor to help-to-buy (25%).

“The upcoming election has the potential to breathe more life into the construction and property development sector, especially as house building numbers have reduced in recent years,” said Terry Woodley (pictured), managing director of development finance at Shawbrook.

Challenges surrounding a lack of support for first-time buyers as well as a failure to streamline the planning process have led to waning activity levels, and subsequently have caused developers to call on the government to deliver supporting legislation.

“As such, it’s no surprise that our research results had strong numbers advocating for development in reforms such as alternative schemes to help-to-buy, modular construction, and abolishment of stamp duty for first-time buyers.”

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