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Chancellor pledges nearly £1bn for housebuilding

Nearly £1bn of finance will be made available for housing in a range of announcements revealed by the chancellor today, estimated to create 200,000 new homes.

In his latest Budget, the chancellor George Osborne pledged £500m for SME housebuilders through the government’s Builders Finance Fund.

He said the funding will provide loans for SME firms and unlock 15,000 housing units, previously stalled from difficulty in accessing to financing.

PwC UK engineering & construction UK lead Chris Temple, said housebuilding needed a “significant push” and was pleased to see a £500m investment for SMEs but stressed “to really kick-start the industry, I would like to see greater incentives for public and private landowners to sell sites to developers.”

Mr Osborne also pledged to establish a £150m fund for regeneration of large housing estates through repayable loans.

And he said people will have a new “right to build your own home” as well as the creation of a £150m fund for custom build.

Right to Build would give custom builders a right to plot from councils, with a £150m repayable fund to help provide up to 10,000 serviced plots for custom build.

The government is also consulting on ways to make the Help to Buy scheme available for custom builds.

On stamp duty he revealed a new 15 per cent stamp duty for corporations buying residential properties over £500,000.

“We are expanding the new tax we introduced to stop people avoiding stamp duty by owning homes through a company,” he said.

“From midnight tonight anyone purchasing residential property worth over £500,000 through a corporate envelope will be required to pay 15 per cent stamp duty.”

And he confirmed the first phase of the government’s Help to Buy scheme, originally set to finish in 2016, will now last until 2020.

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