Budget to focus on tax and planning reforms
Changes to planning policy and any relaxation of rules governing real estate investment trusts are expected to be the key points of interest to the housing sector in today’s Budget.
Chancellor George Osborne is expected to outline the shape of the final version of the national planning policy framework, although some reports suggest the document may not be published today.
The housing sector will also be looking out for any changes to real estate investment trusts – tax efficient vehicles that can be used to encourage institutional investors.
These are already being reformed to make them more applicable to the residential sector, but some commentators have been calling for further measures to make them more relevant to social housing.
Mr Osborne is also likely to confirm the allocation of an extra £150 million to the Get Britain building fund. This was announced by prime minister David Cameron earlier this week, and has already been allocated by the Homes and Communities Agency.
The fund provides commercial loans and takes equity stakes in new housing developments to kick start developments that have stalled for financial reasons.