The demand for new houses continues to outstrip supply, with a report by the Communities & Local Government Select Committee of MPs suggesting that the only way to fix the broken housing market is for the Government to provide support for small house builders. With steps having been put in place, we have outlined some of the major issues facing SME house builders, and the help available.

Accessing finance

In a bid to improve the housing crisis the Government is providing a £3 billion Home Building Fund to help small builders and building developers create and build new homes. It also hopes to encourage new entrants into the housing market. If you are looking to develop new homes for sale or rent then this funding program may be ideal for you. To be eligible for a loan you must show that:

  • The scheme would not progress quickly, if at all, without the loan
  • The development will be in England
  • You have a private stake in the site you are trying to fund
  • The site is in the private sector
  • You are planning to build a minimum of five homes.

Read an introduction to the Home Building Fund for more information on how the fund works and to find out if you are eligible.

Accessing small sites

A lack of viable land was listed as the key barrier to house building in the FMB’s 2016 House Builder Survey.  It’s therefore vital that local governments are given the tools needed to support SME house builders in gaining access to smaller sites.  In reaction to this crisis, Birmingham City Council has set up a Dynamic Purchasing System to free up small sites of 15 homes or less and the Mayor of London aims to provide a ‘competitive disposal’ service which will make more publically-owned sites available to small builders.

Meeting consumer expectation

The rise in consumer expectation is a reality that companies in all sectors are being forced to address, particularly when it comes to New Homes in the construction industry. Building guarantee schemes such as the Consumer Code for New Homes (CCNH) provide developers with the opportunity to show their commitment to raising standards and customer service and is a great way for developers to separate themselves from the competition. To become a code user you need to be registered and working with one of CCNH warranty bodies, which includes FMB Insurance.

Protecting your investment

New homes aren’t tried and tested, so when moving in it’s common to find a few problems here and there. But you and your clients don’t have to worry about these issues if the new home is covered with new build home insurance. In this small and specialised market, FMB Insurance’s New Homes Structural Defect Insurance is a fantastic alternative to the traditional 10-year structural warranties currently on the market. Your plans are individually assessed, with each policy tailored to the particular development. The policy can even be transferred to future owners if sold within the 10 year post-completion period. And, if you are a member of the Federation of Master Builders you receive incredible discounts on all insurance products.

To find out more about what FMB insurance products can offer you, please contact  01353 652760 or email fmbinsurance@fmb.org.uk