Level 2

House builders' shares up after UK housing market white paper

By Andrew Schonberg

Date: Tuesday 07 Feb 2017

House builders' shares up after UK housing market white paper

(ShareCast News) - Shares in UK home builders are up on Tuesday after the issue of the government's much-anticipated strategy for the country's 'broken' house market.
The white paper -- titled Fixing Our Broken Housing Market -- included plans for more affordable homes, including councils having to plan for their own needs.

It would also give local authorities the ability pressure property developers to start building on land that they owned.

At about 13:30 GMT, house builders Persimmon, Barratt Developments and Taylor Wimpey were up about 2% or more after Communities Secretary Sajid Javid unveiled the paper. They were up about 3% moments before.

On Monday, these same blue-chip house builders were drubbed at the hands of traders spooked by what Tuesday's report might contain.

Earlier on Tuesday, data from Halifax revealed UK house prices fell 0.9% in January, on the month, to an average of £220,260.

On the year, however, the Halifax numbers showed that UK house prices continued to climb, rising 5.7%. In December, prices grew an annualised 6.5%.

Meantime, UK Prime Minister Theresa May's government said a minimum of 250,000 new homes were needed annually to keep pace with demand.

Labour called the measures "feeble beyond belief," the BBC reported.

Javid issued details of the white paper in a statement to MPs on Tuesday.

In essence these boiled down to accelerating construction, encouraging institutional investment in the rental sector and protecting the greenbelt.

POINTS FROM JAVID'S SPEECH:

- There would be a £3bn fund created to help small companies build more homes

- The government intended to construct more than 25,000 homes by 2020

- Local areas had to come up with realistic housing plans, renewable every five years

- Measures would be implemented to locate sites that were usable and practical for development

- Javid said he would not be recklessly ripping up the countryside, suggesting the greenbelt was safe

- The government was to release more land, more quickly. It would also improve transparency measures around landbanking.

- Javid said communities should have a say in how developments look

- Javid was further examining compulsory purchasing powers for local authorities

- The government said it wanted to make it easier for small- and medium-sized builders to compete by supporting off-site construction

- Encouragement would be give to institutional investment in the private rented sector

- Unfair leashold terms would be addressed by the government

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