Boris Johnson has today promised to soften the economic impact of coronavirus and “build build build”, setting out ambitious plans to invest £5bn into construction projects – including more homes, road, rail and schools, and promising a radical reform of the planning system to enable more developments to be built at speed.
We welcome this news at Sutcliffe as a pledge to put infrastructure at the centre of the country’s recovery is the right thing to do.
Martin Pocock, Director at Sutcliffe, commented on today’s proposals from the Prime Minister:
“The housebuilding sector is vulnerable to the impact of any recession, and this vulnerability is intensified in the wake of Covid-19.
“There is a massive shortage of housing in the UK and any scheme that could help in the delivery of new homes is more than welcome. House buyers on all levels of the property ladder need to be convinced the economy is stable enough to go ahead with their purchases.
“I strongly believe that the way to build the economy across the country is to invest in our infrastructure and construction. Let’s get the UK building!”
This news comes after recent research from the Centre for Policy Studies suggested house building could fall by around 38% over the next year, leading to 76,000 fewer homes being built.
The Centre for Policy Studies think tank also announced an emergency plan to support the sector, called ‘Help to Build’. The proposed scheme would give housebuilders grants up to £25,000 for each new-build property, capped at a percentage of the property value.
The analysis warns that the house building sector could collapse if the economy fails to bounce back post-Covid, as the housing sector is uniquely vulnerable to recessions. Following the 2008 collapse, it took six years for supply to return to previous levels within the sector.
Another recession and a slow bounce back for house builders would be a devastating blow to the Government’s plan to fix the housing crisis and encourage mass home ownership in the UK.
The think tank expects grants to be on average around £20,000 and could secure the construction of 150,000 homes next year.
It follows last week’s announcement by Mayor Joe Anderson about the £1.4bn recovery plan to create 12,000 construction roles and more than 9,700 apprenticeships across the city region.