I hadn’t realised that there is someone near the top of government who actually has practical, professional experience as a housebuilder. After some business failures, the surprisingly entrepreneurial Philip Hammond became a housing developer. According to a piece in the FT about his business career.
In 1984 he set up Castlemead, a housebuilder, with local Billericay surveyor Terry Gregson and the business quickly seemed to suit him. Their first land deal made a £100,000 profit. Mr Gregson told the FT that Mr Hammond was “straight as an arrow, inventive and could make things work quite quickly”. Castlemead’s business strategy involved squeezing more units on to sites than other developers did, so they could bid higher prices for land. Once planning permission was granted and the land value shot up, Castlemead could then borrow to fund the cost of building homes
On balance, it’s probably a good thing to have a senior politician with some practical knowledge of housing development.