If you work in residential property, today is a good day – share prices went up across the board after the government published its long-awaited housing whitepaper.
On the FTSE 100, Persimmon was the big winner, with shares rising 2.3 per cent to 1,983p in mid-afternoon trading. That was followed by Barratt, which rose 1.7 per cent to 502p, and Taylor Wimpey, whose shares rose 1.4 per cent to 172.2p.
FTSE 250-listed Bellway climbed 2.5 per cent to 2,580p, while rival Bovis rose 2.4 per cent to 864.5p and Crest Nicholson rose 1.2 per cent.
Among the UK's estate agents, Savills rose 3.8 per cent to 827.3p, while Foxtons rose a more sedate 0.3 per cent, to 96.62p. Countrywide, the UK's largest estate agent, rose 1.6 per cent to 186.1p.
The housing white paper was published by communities and local government secretary Sajid Javid today, outlining measures including a £3bn fund to help small firms build more, and plans to help institutional investors boost the private rented sector (although to many critics' chagrin, it stopped short at relaxing rules on building on the green belt).
Reactions from those in the industry were mixed. While David Thomas, the chief executive of Barratt, welcomed it, Nick Leeming, chairman of estate agent Jackson-Stops & Staff Chairman, took a rather harder line, accusing the government of having "thrown in the towel on Britain as a nation of home owners". Ouch.