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NHBC response to budget statement

NHBC welcomes this year's budget statement and Plan for Growth that confirms a number of measures to help boost and incentivise the house-building industry.

The release of public sector land to encourage new homes, the presumption in favour of sustainable development and the shared equity scheme for 10,000 First Time Buyers (FTBs) are all steps in the right direction to revitalise the industry, the success of which is critical to the wider economic health of the UK economy.  And crucially, the Government has finally confirmed the definition of zero carbon new homes.

Imtiaz Farookhi, Chief Executive of NHBC comments: "NHBC's new home registration statistics have, in recent months, clearly demonstrated that there are not enough homes being built in the UK.  The squeeze on mortgage finance, exclusion of FTBs from the market, and wider economic uncertainty have all contributed to a major shortfall in the number of new homes.

"There is a need to ensure that FTBs are able to benefit from well-designed, energy efficient new homes without the need for unrealistic deposits.  The shared equity scheme provides a vital boost for this group of homebuyers, while also providing housebuilders with the incentive to build.  It also means that thousands of jobs in the construction industry will be secured and that the house-building sector can focus its attention on building modern, sustainable homes.

"As well as supporting recent Zero Carbon Hub proposals for levels of on-site Carbon Compliance, the Plan for Growth also clarifies that unregulated CO2 emissions - those that come from occupant uses of the home such as plug-in domestic appliances - are now excluded from the zero carbon definition for housing.  Since this policy was first announced in 2006, there has always been a question as to whether building regulations should be used to control unregulated energy use.  Allowable solutions to offset emissions seem to have little benefit for the owners of new homes.

"I am pleased that the hard work and evidence provided by the Zero Carbon Hub has today resulted in the Government being able to effectively finalise the definition of zero carbon new homes today.  The industry can now move forward to deliver new homes in a cost effective and consumer-focused way."

News Date: 23/03/11