As the United Kingdom economy seeks to get back on its feet following the outbreak of Coronavirus, it’s vitally important to ensure housing is at the forefront of the national road to recovery. Nationally, it is estimated that construction was paused on 75% of building sites during lockdown, decimating Government plans to fix the housing crisis.
Housing and the economy
Construction is pivotal to the UK economy with revenues in excess of £113bn and housebuilding makes up the largest proportion of this amount at £37.6bn. Analysis of past recessions and industry data though, shows that the housing sector is uniquely vulnerable to recessions. In the 2008-9 crisis, it took six years for supply to return to previous levels. A repeat of this would not only disproportionally affect small and medium sized builders, but risk the livelihoods of over half a million workers employed by householders, their contractors and supply chain.
Helping potential buyers
Thakeham are pleased to be supporting a new plan by the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) which seeks to introduce a scheme allowing housebuilders to access grants up to a maximum of £25,000 for each new build property (capped at a percentage of the home’s value). This will enable housebuilders to help potential buyers with a deposit, support part-exchange purchases or convert a private home into an affordable home for rent or discounted sale. The report entitled, “Help to Build – An emergency plan to support housing supply” was authored by David Cameron’s chief housing advisor and is aimed at protecting the housebuilding sector from collapse, and ensuring much needed new homes continue to be delivered across the country.
Help to Build
Robert Boughton, Chief Executive Officer at Thakeham Group said:
We are pleased to be supporting ‘Help to Build’ as part of the national effort to recover our UK economy. Construction and housebuilding are vital not only for the jobs created, but for addressing the housing crisis felt keenly across the country. The proposed scheme will keep housebuilding moving by focussing on maintaining housing starts and completions, enabling jobs to be safeguarded in the sector, housing delivery to be maintained, and the wider housing market to recover. Thakeham stand ready to work with the Government and Local Authorities to help Britain on the road to recovery.
Alex Morton, Head of Policy at the Centre for Policy Studies and former Special Adviser to David Cameron, said:
The UK housebuilding industry is not just economically and socially vital, but particularly vulnerable to the impact of recession. We cannot afford a repeat of the past two economic crises. This scheme will keep housebuilding going over the next 12 months, while laying the ground for further reform, and avoiding a catastrophic slump in supply. This scheme – or something very much like it – is the most cost-effective way to protect jobs and keep Britain building.
You can read the full report “Help to Build – An emergency plan to support housing supply” here.