Can 200,000 starter homes be built by 2020?

The claim: The government will not be able to achieve the manifesto commitment to build 200,000 starter homes by 2020.

The verdict: It currently seems unlikely because money has only been set aside for 60,000 starter homes. Also, the current plan is for 22% of new developments to be starter homes, which would mean one million suitable homes being built by 2020 – that would be a significant acceleration of house building.

The government announced on Tuesday that it had given the go-ahead for the construction of thousands of starter homes.

Starter homes are new homes built for first-time buyers between 23 and 40 years old, sold at least 20% below market value. The maximum price after the discount has been applied is £250,000 outside London and £450,000 in the capital.

The Conservatives made a commitment in their manifesto for the 2015 general election to build 200,000 starter homes – the pledge to do so by 2020 was repeated in the call for expressions of interest in building starter homes that was released last March.

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Build-Zone Warranty for Commercial Projects

The Build-Zone Warranty for Commercial/Projects has been designed for new builds & conversions of commercial & mixed use developments of any size. These include Student Accommodation, Care Homes, Offices as well as Industrial Units & Retail Units.

Features of the Commercial Warranty:

  • Cover available for loss of rent and alternative accommodation
  • Reduced cost and risk in comparison to collateral warranties
  • Waiver of subrogation rights possible
  • Flexible financial limits can be agreed subject to referral
  • Makes re-sale more attractive & is fully transferable to subsequent owners
  • Cover can be arranged on completed or part-completed properties
  • The policy covers the structure of the building for 10 or 12 years, with defective weatherproofing covered from year 2
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Structural Warranty for your New Home by Build Zone

House Builders and Developers now have more choice than ever in selecting their provider of New Home Warranty cover on the homes they are building, extending or converting.

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Developers are keen to remain independent and are seeking innovative ways to set themselves apart from the competition around them.

Cover is available for projects involving new build, conversion & mixed-use developments. Builders or Developers must register with Build-Zone to be eligible for this scheme and must comply with the Build-Zone Code of Conduct.

Features of the New Home Warranty:

  • No membership or registration fees
  • Recognised by lenders and complies with the Council of Mortgage Lenders initiative
  • We can consider covering part-completed or completed projects
  • Fast quotation turnaround
  • Quick response from professional, nationwide technical auditing/survey service
  • Flexible payment method
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Home improvements can affect your Home Insurance

Britain is a nation of property nuts and when it comes to home improvements we spend an absolute fortune.

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Recent figures from SAGA show that just over one in three homeowners splash out an average of £2,000 every year on changing their properties. As the price of buying a bigger and better property goes up, and to avoid the hassle and costs that go with moving, the mantra of many has become ‘Improve, don’t move’.

However, what plenty of property owners don’t realise is that they could be invalidating their Home Insurance by making improvements.

If major building work such as converting a loft into an extra bedroom or erecting a conservatory isn’t carried out correctly, following all the relevant permissions and regulations, or the insurer isn’t informed so that policy terms can be amended accordingly, then your cover may become null and void.

As the buildings element of a Home Insurance policy is based on a property at the point the insurance is taken out, it stands to reason that a change to the structure means that any existing cover may no longer apply.

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New housing quality for all to agree on

After decades of practice, developers are still looking for consistency in delivering quality new housing. Bob Stembridge, Structural Warranty Consultant at Build-Zone, asks what can be done to the benefit of buyers and developers alike…

New housing quality for all to agree on

The recent All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) Inquiry into the Quality of New Housing in England has highlighted the shortcomings in the new homes being delivered across England (and quite possibly in the whole of the UK but their remit did not go that far). What is significant is that in 2004, the Barker Review highlighted the issues with selling homes which were either incomplete or did not have an effective aftercare service.  The industry has since improved but not by as much as would have been hoped. As the report states, build quality reacts according to the level of activity in the market – less activity and the greater the quality of output but the opposite also applied, which was exactly the reason for the Barker Review.

Quite often reports into housing quality compare the final product to buying a motor car.  While the construction and delivery methods may differ, the buyer’s expectations are in many respects similar. They expect the product to be fit for purpose at the time of taking ownership and for years afterwards.  However, buying a new home just increases the stakes when things do not go to plan. Then the costs and extra effort needed to put things right can be astronomical. Thus an effective system that acts to prevent delays and misunderstandings can only benefit all parties.

As a warranty provider, our role is to audit the developer’s work during construction of the new home and to provide a line of recourse for the owner up to 10-years after completion. Also, other stakeholders such as the lenders depend on our independence and the insurer’s financial strength to stand behind our 10-year warranty. Thus we have a vested interest to ensure the developer produces a product fit for purpose, and the homeowner has the knowledge to look after it.

The APPG have made ten recommendations which they hope will mean more homeowners are happy with the buying and owning process. Some are already in place and need tweaking while others will require a break from current ‘conventions’.  Here’s a brief overview of some of those recommendations:

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