Date
18 December 2017
A shortage of properties in Britain has been pushing house prices nearly 10 percent higher nationally in the past year, and twice that in London. Photo: Bloomberg
A shortage of properties in Britain has been pushing house prices nearly 10 percent higher nationally in the past year, and twice that in London. Photo: Bloomberg

Britain to bypass developers in push to build homes

The British government will pay contractors directly to build houses on a former military base in eastern England in a bid to ease a housing shortage.

The trial scheme, announced on Tuesday, will effectively cut out property developers and speed up the delivery of new homes, Reuters reported. Up to 10,000 new homes will be built at the disused Royal Air Force base in Cambridgeshire.

“The message to the house building sector would be simple — if you don’t build it, we will,” Danny Alexander, a finance minister, was quoted as saying.

A shortage of properties has been pushing house prices nearly 10 percent higher nationally in the past year, and twice that in London. Housing is likely to be a major issue in the national election to be held next May.

A report by a former Bank of England policymaker published in March said the country needed 1 million new homes.

Construction in England slumped after the 2007-2009 financial crisis and is still struggling to recover. 

The opposition Labour party said the two-party coalition government had failed young families and first-time buyers by not building enough houses since 2010.

Labour promises to build 200,000 homes per year by 2020 if they win the 2015 election, the report said.

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