Next government urged to offer more support for first time buyers

Despite an overwhelming majority of property developers in favour of a change of government, fewer than 10% think Labour will specifically help first-time buyers

Related topics:  Finance,  Government,  FTB
Property | Reporter
30th May 2024
FTB 622
"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"
- Terry Woodley - Shawbrook

86% of developers believe that the next government needs to do more to support first-time buyers, according to the latest research from Shawbrook, with 9% stating that this should be a top priority.

This sentiment comes as the general election has been brought forward, prompting developers to consider what the next government could mean for the construction sector and the property market as a whole. Labour has been particularly outspoken on the topic in recent months, with the party announcing plans to prioritise building on the ‘grey belt’ and brownfield sites which has garnered interest from developers.

Developers seem to favour a Labour government with 90% indicating they believe it would benefit the housing market overall. Yet only 9% think Labour will specifically help first-time buyers.

When asked for changes they would like to see from a new government, 35% want easier planning permission processes, while a similar number (32%) want new schemes to help first-time buyers. Similarly, 31% are calling for more support for innovative construction methods such as modular construction, and 30% advocate for stamp duty holidays.

Other notable incentive and support options that developers think the government should introduce include:

30% encouraging public-private partnerships

30% support the removal of planning red tape to incentivise developers

29% calling for scrapping stamp duty for all first-time buyers

27% suggest low-deposit mortgages

25% are in favour of the introduction of a successor to help-to-buy

Terry Woodley, MD of Development Finance at Shawbrook, commented: “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.

"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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