Sunak’s spring statement offers little industry support, as five-star builders revealed

Industry reacts to Sunak’s spring statement

This week saw Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak deliver his spring budget, in which he extended the VAT relief available for the installation of energy saving materials, as well as a rise in National Insurance starting thresholds to £12,570 from July – saving some small businesses over £1,000.

However, recent calls for a delay in banning red diesel fell on deaf ears, with the transition to white diesel continuing from 1st April.

Industry reaction was mixed, with most welcoming the VAT relief on energy saving materials, but others feeling that the Government had not gone far enough to curb ongoing cost inflation.

HBF reveals five-star developers, as buyers demand sustainable homes

The Home Builders Federation published their National New Homes Customer Satisfaction Survey results this week, revealing that 91% of respondents said they would recommend their developer to a friend.

85% of those surveyed also said they were satisfied with the service provided by the builder during the buying process, with 72% reporting that the number of snags was in line with expectations.

A total of 42 builders achieved a five-star rating; the same as in 2021.

Meanwhile, the HBF revealed that sustainability was now a key factor in people’s home buying choices, according to research carried out for New Homes Week 2022, with 73% of around 2,000 respondents voicing concerns about the energy efficiency of their current property.

And, with new-build homes saving households more than £400 on their annual energy bills and emitting less carbon when compared to older properties, it seems as though developers may have the answer to the average buyer’s worries.

Labour rates rise again as Ukraine conflict drives timber increases

Labour rates on construction sites increased 10.1% in February, according to Hudson Contract.

The payroll giant revealed that rates were 7.1% higher than the same time last year, with earnings increasing across all trades.

The North East saw the largest monthly increase, at 15.1%, with the East Midlands reporting the lowest growth at 3.2%.

Source: Hudson Contract

Meanwhile, trade body Timber Development UK is warning that a call to ban ‘conflict timber’ from Belarus and Russia could trigger a fresh wave of cost inflation.

The war in Ukraine, says TDUK, will affect supplies of Russian Siberian Larch, and timber used in joinery such as plywood or oak.

Rightmove and ONS publish house price indices

This week saw both Rightmove and the Office for National Statistics publish their house price indices.

Rightmove reported that house prices in March grew by 1.7% in the month (10.4% annually), reaching a record high of £354,564 – breaking the £350,000 barrier for the first time.

The ONS, reporting on house price growth in January, revealed that the average cost of a home had grown by 9.6% over the year, reaching a value of £274,000.

They also revealed that the average property now costs 9.1 times average earnings in England; an increase on 2020, where the multiple was 7.9, further increasing the lack of property affordability in the UK.

Crest Nicholson report strong trading

Crest Nicholson has reported a strong trading performance since the start of its financial year, with an order book over 84% for FY22.

The developer also revealed that their expansion plans were progressing well, establishing new teams in Yorkshire and East Anglia.

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