Jo Blogs

Jo Blogs...16th April 2014

16 Apr 2014
Two topics are frequently raised with me when I've been visiting members recently. The first is obvious - housing supply and what is happening in the housing market. 
Whatever your views on the impact of Help to Buy (and our policy panel was split on the decision to extend it) it is seen by government as successful and so far they're not concerned (publicly at least) about a price bubble in London and South East.   
What will be of interest over the coming years is if the market recovers at a sustainable pace so that when Help to Buy is withdrawn we don't return to underlying market fragility.
Will the changes to pension funds announced by the Chancellor in the budget fuel a property investment boom, another wave of Buy to Let activity? Predicting housing market activity is never easy and at the moment seems particularly challenging. 
This map from DCLG shows the distribution of house building starts per 1000 properties across the country in the twelve months up to December 2013. Whilst there are hot spots of growth in the North, it is clear the concentration of supply is located south of the Midlands.
So what is happening to supply in the North - are there issues on funding, accessing land, scheme viability or has demand altered and the market needs to adjust? We're keen to better understand how supply is changing and what you think the next year may look like.
We're really pleased therefor that Natalie Elphicke and Keith House will be coming to meet with NHC members later this month as part of their review of role of LA's in housing supply. 
Local Authority members should receive more information on this today but do get in touch with us if you?d like to hear more. 
The second topic that's repeatedly being raised by members - and is increasingly seen as government priority is our ageing society and in particular the need to think about housing and older people. We're pleased that DCLG are commissioning research and policy development on this topic and we will be looking to input NHC members' views into this debate so look out for some roundtable invites towards the summer.
We are currently developing a programme of activity and support for members around the theme of housing and older people and it would be great to have NHC member input into our thinking and shaping of our service offer - if you'd like to be part of a small working group on this topic please do contact  
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