The British housing market is roaring back after the Covid debacle, but Boris is being urged to refocus.
The housing industry in the United Kingdom is recovering from the pandemic, but problems with the planning system persist.
Since the first lockdown, construction work has been hampered by both the restrictions and subsequent labor and material shortages.
According to building control figures released today by the Government and the Office for National Statistics (ONS), despite completions taking a hit during this time, new projects are starting to pick up.
Between July and September of 2021, new construction starts increased by 16 percent over the previous year.
The Home Builders Federation’s Communications Director, Steve Turner, told This website that the “industry is in a relatively good place,” adding that output had doubled in the last decade.
In 2021, demand for new homes soared, aided by low interest rates and the government’s stamp duty holiday.
Mr Turner predicted that demand would continue to grow, causing builders to increase supply, but he cautioned that smaller businesses, in particular, would face material and labor shortages.
Persimmon, one of the UK’s largest housebuilders, announced today that its profits have increased by 1% since the outbreak.
The number of new homes completed by the company increased from 13,575 in 2020 to 14,551 in 2021, though it still falls short of the 15,855 in 2019.
“While the industry continues to face ongoing operational and economic challenges as a result of the pandemic, particularly as the Omicron outbreak unfolded in the last six weeks of the year, the Group continues to manage these ongoing challenges comprehensively,” said Dean Finch, Group Chief Executive Officer of Persimmon.
“I am confident in Persimmon’s future success because the long-term fundamentals of the UK housing market remain strong.”
Mr Turner explained that while new construction did not have a significant impact on house prices, increased output in the long run would help address supply and demand imbalances in the UK, which has been plagued by a housing shortage for decades.
Before the pandemic, the government set a goal of building 300,000 new houses per year, with industry output reaching 240,000.
However, the Home Builders Federation has warned that the planning system and building supply shortages could jeopardize this.
Mr Turner suggested that improvements to the planning system would help the government “regain focus.”
“The biggest challenge is getting the existing system to work,” he said, as the government looks into reforms.
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