The government’s own declared target is to build 300 000 new homes a year – but instead of building more, the number of new housing starts is down on last year. The number of new homes registered by housebuilders with the National House Building Council (NHBC), representing 80% of the national total, was just 159 617: not much more than half the annual target.
Brexit jitters hit London housing market as newbuilds decline sharply
Housebuilding declined sharply in London and the Midlands last year as political and economic uncertainty around the shape of Brexit hit the housing market, according to industry figures.
The number of new homes in London registered by housebuilders with the National House Building Council (NHBC) in 2018 fell 10% from the previous year to 16,069, the biggest annual drop since 2016. In the east Midlands and West Midlands, registrations were also down 10%, to 13,447 and 13,087 respectively following two strong years.
The Conservatives have been accused of dropping a second manifesto pledge in the space of a week after ministers rowed back on plans to build hundreds of thousands of “starter homes” for first-time buyers.
Chancellor Philip Hammond sparked negative headlines after the Budget on Wednesday when he raised National Insurance for self-employed people, ditching a Conservative manifesto promise not to raise the tax.
But the Government has also now binned David Cameron’s flagship housing policy of building 200,000 starter homes at 20 per cent below market price, championed by the former Prime Minister just last year.
Two Joburg housing officials along with two accomplices have been arrested on charges of fraud and corruption linked to a syndicate involving land and RDP houses.
Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba said they have appeared in court and were released on R5‚000 bail each.
The case has been postponed to 11 April 2017. “A syndicate working in collusion with the Department of Housing‚ municipal officials and a councillor started allocating stands to people at a fee wherein unsuspecting individuals bought the said stands.
A similar modus operandi applied to the allocation of RDP houses‚” he said in a statement. Many of the victims have already constructed houses on illegally sold land‚ Mashaba added.