Ahead of the final Budget of this Parliament, Chris Ingram of BEAMA Underfloor sets out his hopes for the announcement on Wednesday 18 March.
With the election looming, is it expected that George Osborne won’t announce anything too drastic in this week’s Budget, but we would welcome any efforts from the Chancellor to loosen the purse strings and give people the confidence to start spending.
House prices are at a record level of being unaffordable as demand outweighs supply, and the average house price has increased by 10%. We would support calls for the government to address this issue, and for the Chancellor to outline some measures that will boost the building, renovation and construction industry, and help to provide the 250,000 additional homes that are needed for people in this country each year. Moreover, new homes need to be built and sold at an affordable price for the average person.
We would like to see tax breaks for property developers and simplifications to the planning and building process. Removal of red tape could encourage the sale of land and may initiate the boost that is needed within the construction and housing industry, resulting in more homes being built.
With interest rates still being at the lower end of the spectrum, this could give homeowners the nudge they need to consider investing in their own property – and our research shows that underfloor heating is one of the most desirable features for homeowners. Installing affordable luxuries such as underfloor heating will ultimately add value to a property. When the housing market picks up again and people are in a better position to be able to move, it will pay off.
The Ask for Underfloor campaign is hoping George Osborne will also make announcements about renewable energy. It’s no surprise that underfloor heating is increasing in popularity; it’s widely seen as one of the most efficient ways of heating the home and can help homeowners reduce their energy bills.
As a country we need to be greener, and we need to educate the public and the government to do more to ensure efficient energy and renewable energy sources are being installed into homes – old and new. Underfloor heating can be a great first step, as it not only delivers benefits to homeowners, but is also suitable for use with low-carbon renewable heating systems.
Chris Ingram is chairman of BEAMA Underfloor.