Ask the Expert - What is the housing white paper about?

Read our latest Ask the Expert column - this time by our Sales Manager Tim Bourne

Q: I’ve heard a lot about the Government’s new Housing White Paper. What exactly is this about?

A: The White Paper was published by the Government to set out its views about how it thinks the housing market can meet the rising demand for homes in England.

It includes a number of measures including a £3bn fund to help smaller builders, measures to force developers to start building within two years of gaining planning permission, incentives for ‘build to let’ schemes and moves to encourage older people to downsize. The White Paper also suggests longer, three-year tenancies in rental properties.

The Government says that to meet demand we need between 225,000 and 275,000 homes nationally every year. A recent study of economic growth along the M27 corridor area also found that at least 20,000 new homes are likely to be needed in the area over the next five years.

There’s been a mixed reaction to the White Paper from the housing sector, politicians and in the media so far – and no doubt there will be more before consultation closes in May.

As an independent estate agent with a strong track record in the Portsmouth area for many years, we welcome any proposals which spark constructive debate and result in carefully considered new policies which drive precisely at the heart of the issue.

Proposed developments with thousands of homes which have been reported recently in the News for Portsmouth and Fareham have also been encouraging.

Of course, these – and any new housing resulting from the White Paper proposals – are some years away and will be tied in with the strength of the economy.

In the short term, with the ‘Spring bounce’ upon us as we enter March, April and May, the market remains strong. Good quality and well-presented homes will always attract interest; which is a good base upon which to build our housing market for the future.

For more about the local housing market, always contact a member of the Portsmouth Property Association (PPA) at