New starts and completions fall in quarter, whilst Government provides housing boost

NHBC figures show quarterly drop in completions, and contractors fear further price rises

The impact of labour and material shortages on housing construction became evident this week, as latest figures from the National House Building Council showed that UK new home building registrations fell by 27% quarter on quarter to 33,779, driven by London, where annual registered starts were down by 78%.

The results from the NHBC also showed that completions fell over the same three-month period by 8% to 31,908, with the fall partly attributed to housing associations prioritising remedial works over building homes.

New home registrations also reflected the post-Covid focus from buyers for more space, with 87% of new registrations being houses as opposed to apartments.

Meanwhile, material producers and distributors have warned that the current energy crisis is likely to fuel further rises in material prices, also forecasting that logistic and transport issues will continue into next year.

The Builders Merchants Federation and Construction Products Association also stated that, whilst product supply had improved in some areas, labour shortages and driver issues remained key challenges for the industry.

Budget spending review reveals £2bn for brownfield housing supply

The Government’s Autumn budget was announced this week, with Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, announcing various measures to boost the nation’s growth.

Among these measures was £1.8bn allocated to housing supply, in addition to the previously-announced £10bn for the next five years. This includes £300m of grant funding to provide brownfield sites, with the aim being to build 160,000 ‘greener’ homes to help achieve the Government’s agenda to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Sunak also revealed a plan to raise £5bn, partly by introducing a Developer Tax on builders with profits greater than £25m, to remove unsafe cladding from high risk buildings.

Latest DEFRA data shows construction plastic waste increase

According to latest data from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, construction industry plastic waste increased by 46% in two years – whilst the overall volume of UK plastic waste decreased by 2% over the same period.

The figures, which relate to the two years to March 2018, revealed that in 2018 alone the UK construction industry produced 98,284 tonnes of plastic waste, with large quantities ending up in landfill.

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