U.K. Treasury’s Alexander Vows $4.6 Billion for Homes

U.K. Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander pledged 3 billion pounds ($4.6 billion) to build cheaper housing from 2015 through 2018 as Britain seeks to make homes easier to buy for residents.

The funding will deliver 165,000 new homes, the most on an annual average basis in 20 years, he told lawmakers in Parliament today.

“This country does not have enough homes that people can afford,” Alexander said. “A good home should not be a luxury for the few, but an achievable aspiration for the many.”

Foreigners bought half of London’s new homes last year, according to broker Jones Lang LaSalle Inc., boosting prices and making it more difficult for residents to afford one. Domestic buyers have also struggled to get mortgages as U.K. banks rebuild their balance sheets.

Mortgage availability has shown signs of improvement. Gross lending for home purchases rose 17 percent to 14.7 billion pounds from a year earlier, the Council for Mortgage Lenders said in a June 20 statement. It was the highest monthly figure since October 2008.