“Why Jeremy Hunt Needs to Stimulate the New Homes Market.” – Bargate Homes

Mark White, Managing Director for Hampshire-based premium housebuilder Bargate Homes, said: “I feel we will all be disappointed with Thursday’s Autumn Statement, but what is crucial is that the Government delivers on what it says and creates market certainty.

“Customers buying our family homes – which average £450,000 – need certainty to make the move to a new home that suits their needs. And the bottom of the chain needs to feel confident making their first step onto the ladder. The first time buyer Stamp Duty exemption of up to £425,000 – introduced in September – is a help, so we were relieved that Jeremy Hunt has stuck with the new thresholds.

“But when lowering our carbon footprint and reducing energy consumption is so critical, why is more not being done to fix the planning system, solve the prolonged phosphates, nitrates, and nutrient neutrality issue, and stimulate the new homes market? For the best part of a decade, 30-40% of our sales were via Help to Buy. It enabled hardworking people to stetch their affordability further and buy the new home of their dreams. Designed to replace it, the HBF’s Deposit Unlock scheme only has three lenders signed up, so it does currently not have the market traction that is needed to help our potential customers.

“What would make a much bigger difference is if Green Mortgages were subsidised, so that monthly repayments for the most energy-efficient new homes were significantly cheaper. The Feed-in Tariff for household renewable energy generation should also be reintroduced, to make living in a home with solar panels much more financially rewarding.

“We are on site at six developments across Hampshire, which are delivering over 900 open market and affordable family homes. We have 500 tradespeople working for us, and with the impact of planning and nutrient neutrality issues, Brexit, the prolonged unrest in Ukraine, soaring energy costs, and inflation, it costs £20,000 more to build a typical three-bedroom Bargate home than it did only five years ago. It is no wonder the industry has totally lost pace with the 300,000 new homes per annum that the UK desperately needs.”

Bargate Homes is a wholly owned subsidiary of Vivid – Hampshire’s largest provider of affordable homes. Established in 2006, the company delivers select developments in prime locations across Hampshire, Dorset, and West Sussex. The company is currently delivering 900 homes across six live developments and has a pipeline of future sites expected to deliver in excess of 2,500 new homes.