Linden Homes Welcomes The Prime Minister And Deputy Prime Minister To Its Development In Guildford
21 Nov 2011

As The Government Announces Strategy To Boost Housebuilding

Leading housebuilder Linden Homes was delighted to welcome the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon David Cameron MP, and Deputy Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, to its Boxgrove Gardens development in Guildford today, from where he announced the government’s new Housing Strategy which will be underpinned by a new mortgage initiative for new homes.

It means a return of 95 per cent loan to value (LTV) mortgages nationally for new build homes. The government recognises the need for greater availability of mortgage finance and responsible lending to the significant number of home purchasers who can afford mortgage payments, but not the levels of deposit currently required by lenders.

Linden Homes has welcomed the move to increase the volume of mortgage lending across the country.

Alongside the Home Builders Federation (HBF) and industry colleagues, Linden Homes has sought solutions to the lending constraints which have limited mortgage availability for many people – particularly first time buyers. The average age of people buying their first home is now 37.

The company is delighted the government has recognised the underlying importance of the housebuilding industry and the new homes market, both socially and to the wider economy, and is optimistic the country will see a much needed increase in mortgage approvals and home ownership moving forward.

“This is a significant step forward in making responsible, affordable lending available to home buyers across the country to help them purchase the home they’ve always wanted,” said Ian Baker, Linden Homes Group Managing Director.

“The lack of affordable mortgage lending has been one of the main constraints to the housebuilding industry for a number of years. At Linden Homes, we have been working hard with a number of lenders to bring financial enablers to the market. However, the vital element of the government’s announcement will be that these mortgages are made available right across the country from major high street lenders. Critically, they must be made available not only for new houses but apartments too so that as many people as possible have the opportunity to purchase their home.”

As well as launching its new mortgage strategy, the Prime Minister also said the government is committed to providing an additional 200,000 new homes by 2015 through its “build now, pay later” deal. The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) will now work with Whitehall property specialists to release as much government-owned land as possible for private development. Local councils will also be encouraged to make their unused land available for development.

Linden Homes will continue to engage with the DCLG to ensure the company can take advantage of the proposal.

“This is a crucial step in the right direction in making sites available for developers so we can build the homes this country so desperately needs,” said Ian Baker. “Improving access to prime development sites is a key component to achieving this.

“The announcement today from our Boxgrove Gardens development is particularly relevant. Built on a former disused Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) site this is a highly successful example of disused public land being made available for well designed new housing, and the results speak for themselves.

“This 199-home sustainable development, less than a mile from Guildford’s High Street, is an award-winning example of mixed tenure with 70 homes built for shared ownership and affordable rent. All homes are built to level three of the Code for Sustainable Homes and incorporate features including A-rated fitted appliances and a minimum 75 per cent dedicated energy efficient lighting.”

According to current estimates, demand for new housing will outstrip supply by 500,000 homes by 2015.

Alongside the lack of mortgage availability, a lack of viable, developable land with planning permission has been the most significant long-term constraint on housing supply.

Ian Baker added: "Increasing housing supply through the government’s support to 95 per cent mortgage lending and public sector land releases will increase the industry’s ability to tackle our chronic housing crisis and contribute to creating a significant number of new jobs - providing huge social and economic benefits across the country.”


For further information, contact Lyndsay Scanlan or Amy Bryant-Jeffries at Remarkable Public Relations on 01962 893 893.

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