It was originally billed as “consequential improvements”, part of the consultation document on revisions to Part L. Then someone labelled it The Conservatory Tax, discussed it with the national media and suddenly it’s a very public embarrassment for the Government, with the Prime Minister hastily distancing himself from the whole idea.
With the announcement in March of the New Buy initiative, the Government clearly signalled some active support for the housebuilding sector. Personally, I think New Buy is an excellent initiative (and one I have been advocating for the last three years) as it targets resources precisely where they are needed – at the new housing market. Let us not forget that the home building supply chain is a significant contributor to the UK economy – we estimate that each additional house start per annum generates 2.4 jobs.
The priority of economic policy in the UK for decades has been a focus on keeping the inflation rate under control. The most recent inflation figures (February 2012) point to a falling rate, although still well above the Bank of England target of 2%.
There are a number of industry experts suggesting what growth (or otherwise) can be predicted in the housebuilding sector for 2012.
There is a surprisingly broad range of views on the subject, but the consensus seems to be that private housebuilding (in sharp contrast to most other sectors within construction) is set for a better year.