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Housing policy changes cast doubts over UK's housebuilder profits

Staff Writer |
Housing minister Gavin Barwell has given a strong indication of a material shifting in housing policy.

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He was hinting that Starter Homes scheme will be scrapped and the government will pursue policies to expand the public sector and private sector rental markets.

Speaking at the British Property Federation's RESI conference, Barwell showed there will be a softened stance on home ownership under new prime minister Theresa May's government, stressing that the intention was "to make sure we have a good, thriving private rented sector".

Barwell, who was appointed in July, said: "We need to build more homes of every single type and not focus on one single tenure."

He added: "Recent growth in the bespoke rental market has been impressive, but this progress must be expanded."

There was also strong hint about the scrapping of the Starter Homes initiative, which requires housebuilders to offer 200,000 new homes to first time buyers under 40 at prices at 20% below market value, with the discount funded by the removal of the requirement to build around 20% of every site for social and/or affordable ownership.

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