Industry News

Planning permissions reach highest level since 2008, but it's not enough

The number of planning permissions granted for new homes in Q1 of this year remained high, HBF and Glenigan’s latest Housing Pipeline report shows. Permissions for 66,102 homes were granted in the first three months of the year in England, up 4% on the previous year. 

As underlined by the Home Builders Federation (HBF), permissions have risen steadily every year since 2009, with actual housing supply also increasing markedly over the past two years as more of the permissions have progressed to the point where builders can begin building. The last 12 months have seen a 66% increase in permissions granted on the nadir of the recession in 2009. Numbers are now only 0.3% below where they were at the highest point in early 2008.

Nonetheless, demand for new homes remains extremely strong. HBF estimates there is a shortfall of well over one million homes in England. Almost a third of young people (3.35m) are living at home with their parents and 1.24 million people are on housing waiting lists. The Help to Buy equity loan scheme continues to drive demand for new homes and interest rates remain historically low.

Over 180,000 new homes were added to the housing stock in 2014/15 – up 22% on the previous year - as house builders increased output in response to the rise in demand for new homes.

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/planning-permissions-reach-highest-level-2008-its-not-enough]

BSRIA Chief on Brexit aftermath: "Construction Industry to remain confident and optimistic'

One month after the EU referendum, the Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA) has launched a positive message to members and stakeholders saying the construction industry should remain confident and optimistic about the opportunities out there for existing and new industry projects.

Nonetheless, BSRIA will be offering extra service to members to help them tackle the new political and economical scenario.

Julia Evans, Chief Executive, BSRIA, commented: “Now that the dust has settled from the Brexit decision – for BSRIA it is definitely business as usual – we are where we are. There are opportunities out there for our members to garner new work and deals – we all just need to find them.

Against a backdrop of political and ‘economic spaghetti’ BSRIA can lead and support its members into a bright new future. It is a brave new world. We appreciate there is certainly political turmoil, noise and volatility in Westminster – but BSRIA needs to join in this debate."

Ms Evans added: "As an industry – we must now start to shape future policy. Indeed it is a chance to revise industry regulations and to renegotiate the framework for the future and find new trade rules.

We need to protect what has already been invested in and make the most of our assets, especially investments and buildings. And ensure that investors have confidence in our industry.

I was especially encouraged to learn that government ministers have begun efforts to reassure industry leaders that housing and infrastructure spending will not drop and in fact both will become ‘more important, not less’ after Brexit. The Mayor of London has also announced to boost housing.”

Industry cannot afford any period of parliamentary inaction and uncertainty on non-EU related issues, whether two years or more in length, and BSRIA seeks urgent reassurance from government that this will not be the case."

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/bsria-chief-brexit-aftermath-construction-industry-remain-confident-and-optimistic]

BMF urges new government to discuss Brexit impact on Construction Industry

The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) is leading calls for urgent talks with the government over the impact of Brexit on the construction industry. 

Following the appointment of the new Prime Minister, Theresa May and her Cabinet, the BMF has written to key Ministers to highlight the urgency and importance to the UK economy and jobs of the construction sector in the context of Brexit.

The BMF has welcomed the new Prime Minister’s early pledge that the new government will prioritise housebuilding, which is recognition of both the importance of the sector and the current uncertainty in the economy.  

BMF has called for a clear plan from the new Prime Minister and the Government that includes:

  • Assurances of continued support for housebuilding, investment in infrastructure to unlock sites, and further reforms to speed up the planning process
  • Recognition of the importance of investing in apprenticeships and other skills development in the industry to build a workforce for the future, taking account of the impact of the possible end of free movement.
  • Guarantees that the construction industry will be consulted about the impact of the transition to operating within a potential UK only framework, including new product standards and a possible return to the emphasis on the British Kite Mark
  • Confirmation that the BMF along with other key industry bodies, including the FMB and the CPA, will be consulted and involved in a dialogue with the government as Brexit talks and negotiation develops.

BMF MD John Newcomb said: “Construction is hugely important for the UK economy and it is vital that the industry is prioritised and consulted by the government as Brexit plans develop.  We want to hear concrete commitments from the government to support housebuilding.  It is also critical that we are involved in planning for the potential end of free movement, so that we have the skilled workforce ready that we will need for the future."

"We have had very constructive relations with David Cameron’s government and we are looking forward to working closely with the new government”.

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/bmf-urges-new-government-discuss-brexit-impact-construction-industry]

Timber & Joinery products push Builders' merchants sales up in Q1 2016

As reported by the Builders Merchants Building Index, Timber & Joinery Products along with Heavy Building Materials were the key drivers of builders' merchants sales rise in Q1 2016.

According to the Bulletin published by the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF), the two categories accounted 46.6% and 21% of total builders merchants’ sales during the last quarter.

On a year-on-year basis, Heavy Building Materials sales increased 5.2% and Timber & Joinery Products grew 4%.

On a macro scale, Builders Merchants sales in Q1 2016 were up by 5.4% on Q1 2015 with total ex VAT sales-out of £1.27bn compared to £1.20bn. Q1 sales also rose by 4.6% on Q4 2015

BMF’s Managing Director, John Newcomb said: “The year on year and quarter on quarter growth evident in builders merchants sales is clearly encouraging.  It is also at odds with the recent ONS figures that reported construction output down by 1.9%, which have already been challenged by the Construction Products Association. Our data is in line with the CPA’s Q1 survey. ONS figures have been revised in the past, so they may yet come back with a more positive picture that reflects what is actually happening in the market.”

 

[News URL: http://www.cti-timber.org/content/timber-joinery-products-push-builders-merchants-sales-q1-2016]

Housebuilding boost timber frame market in 2016, MTW Research shows

A new report on the state of Timber Frame Market published by MTW Research suggests the industry continues to outperform the UK economy, despite slowing slightly from recent double digit growth.

Based on data from 80% of the timber frame market, the research found that 2016 profitability continues to strengthen as demand rises from housebuilding and commercial construction. However, MTW notes that there is some evidence of likely deceleration in growth for timber frame sales in H2 2016, though healthy trading patterns are forecast for 2017 and beyond.

According to the report, rising volume demand for timber frame homes over the last few years has sustained optimism with increasing market opportunities at both lower and higher value ends of the market in 2016. This has underpinned the timber frame market with MTW reporting some 80% of timber frame suppliers having good or excellent credit ratings in 2016.

The research highlights that housebuilding levels are some 31% higher than in 2010, with timber frame sales having risen faster than the overall housebuilding market. MTW’s report also reviews the MMC market (modern methods of construction), finding that sales in this sector are set to top £2 billion for the first time in 2018, underpinning further optimism for new building technologies and materials in the future.

The complete 2016 report is purchasable on MTW Research’s website at www.marketresearchreports.co.uk.

 

[News URL:  http://www.cti-timber.org/content/housebuilding-boost-timber-frame-market-2016-mtw-research-show]

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