Housebuilding Industry Now Worth £38bn A Year

Burflex House, Clay Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU8 8HA E.

Burflex House, Clay Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU8 8HA E.


Housebuilding Industry Now Worth £38bn A Year

A new report from the House Building Federation (HBF) has found that the 74 per cent rise in housebuilding activity over the last four years has seen the industry in England and Wales be worth £38 billion a year, supporting almost 700,000 jobs.

Carried out by Lichfields on behalf of the organisation, the report revealed that in 2017 the sector invested £12 billion in land for new homes, agreed 50,000 affordable houses through s106 agreements that were worth more than £4 billion and provided £841 million towards infrastructure, including £122 million for new and improved schools.

It also supported 698,000 jobs, including 239,000 directly (18 per cent of the construction industry in the UK). Some £2.7 billion was generated in tax revenues, while £11.7 billion was spent with suppliers (90 per cent of which stays in the UK).

To help drive this forward, the industry is now calling on the government to make further improvements to the policy framework, which has allowed this output to grow in recent years.

They can do this by providing certainty with regards to the future of the Help to Buy scheme after the year 2021, a scheme that is underpinning demand for new homes at a time when the housing market as a whole has slowed.

In addition, it could do more to speed up the start-to-end planning process, finding more land for more homes to be built.

Chairman of the HBF Stewart Baseley commented on the findings, saying: “The house building industry is a massive driver of the UK economy and makes a huge contribution to communities across the country.

“While delivering much-needed new homes of all tenures, house builders are quietly creating and sustaining jobs, generating receipts for the exchequer and boosting investment in infrastructure and amenities in villages, towns and cities. As well as becoming ever more reliant on private builders to deliver affordable housing through planning agreements, vast sums are ploughed into new roads, schools and community facilities every year.”

At the start of this month (July), the latest IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction PMI revealed that housebuilding was still the best performing area of activity, with new orders climbing at their fastest pace since May 2017. Commercial building also saw a faster upturn, while improved demand for materials saw longer lead times from suppliers and the most marked hike in input prices since September last year.

At the other end of the scale, however, civil engineering activity only rose slightly for June, with the rate of growth hitting a three-month low. Higher levels of new work added to faster increases in employment numbers and purchasing activity for the month of June. The pace of job creation rose to its strongest for a year, with the latest input buying rise the steepest since December 2015.

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