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Housing Market (Budget 2013)

Volume 565: debated on Tuesday 25 June 2013

10. What progress he has made on implementing the housing market measures announced in Budget 2013. (161227)

The Government have made excellent progress in implementing the measures. For example, the Help to Buy equity loan scheme has helped 4,000 individuals and families reserve a new build home already and the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme will be in place by January 2014.

In high house price and low wage areas such as mine, where four times more properties are sold to second home buyers than to first-time buyers, intermediate market solutions—shared equity and affordable homes with section 106 planning restrictions—are often the only way for local families to get a toe on the housing ladder, yet the equity loan scheme does not have the rules to enable them to take advantage of it. Will the Government reconsider the rules to help local people in such circumstances?

My hon. Friend is right to raise that issue. He will have upmost in his mind the fact that under Labour, house building fell to its lowest levels since the 1920s. The Government are supporting hard-working households who have saved but who do not have a large deposit from the bank of mum and dad to help in buying their own home. The Help to Buy equity loan scheme he mentioned will help 74,000 families and has already helped 4,000. My hon. Friend will be pleased to know that 20% of the £1.8 billion of additional funding we have promised for affordable homes will go to shared ownership.

Will the Help to Buy scheme help to increase the supply of housing? I am not talking about buying capacity; will it specifically increase the supply of housing?

The short answer is that it most certainly will, and it has been welcomed by the Home Builders Federation. I am pleased that the hon. Gentleman is now concerned about the issue. House building fell to its lowest levels since the 1920s under the previous Government. The number of affordable homes decreased by 421,000 over 13 years and local authority waiting lists almost doubled from 1 million to 1.8 million under Labour—a shameful record.