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Policy & Activities

24 March, 2015

Massive ‘hidden’ social and economic benefits of home building revealed;

In addition to economic benefit new report reveals house builders contribute billions to communities including schools funding for 52,000 classroom places and 6.5 million trees!

Research in a report released today reveals the full extent of the contribution the house building industry makes to the UK’s economy and its communities. It provides a robust estimate of the economic footprint of an industry worth £19.2bn per year to the UK economy, responsible for the employment of more than 600,000 workers and generating £1.4bn in tax revenues for the Exchequer – as well as the additional community benefits derived from building desperately needed new homes;

It shows the housebuilding industry;

  • Supports 600,000 jobs
  • Contributes £19.2bn a year to the UK economy
  • Spends £5.5bn with suppliers, 90% of which stays in the UK
  • Generates £1.4bn per year in tax revenues for the Exchequer
  • Provides 32,000 affordable homes – worth £2.3bn –  built or financed by private house building with a  further £1bn paid to local authorities as a contribution to more affordable housing
  • Pays £576M towards community facilities including;
    • £225M towards education facilities alone - enough to fund 52,000 classroom places;
    • £131m in open spaces and community and sports facilities.
  • Generates a £3.8bn spend in local shops and services

Other benefits identified in the report include that the industry;

  • Plants an estimated 6.5M trees and shrubs
  • Recycles around 80% of its waste

As the election approaches, the industry is urging all parties to prioritise policies that would allow more desperately needed home to be built, and in doing so, give the country a huge economic boost. Whilst output is increasing, we are still only delivering around half the estimated 240,000 homes a year we need to build every year. The report shows that if another 100,000 homes a year were built – a total that would better meet demand - it would also generate;

  • 430,000 extra jobs
  • A further £11.9bn in economic output
  • More than 20,000 affordable homes
  • £2.7bn for additional community benefits, including affordable homes, education, health and open spaces
  • More than £1bn in additional tax revenue, including £128m for local authorities in the form of Council Tax to fund improved local services

Speaking at the report launch today Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman of the HBF, will say; “House building makes a huge largely hidden social and economic contribution to the UK. Whilst housing output has increased, we are still not delivering anywhere near what is needed. As well as delivering desperately needed new homes, increasing housing supply would deliver significant additional benefits.  House building is a huge employer both directly and through supplier companies.

“As well as providing desperately needed new homes, increasing house building would deliver massive additional benefits to communities across the land. People often don’t realise that the new community centre or school or football pitch has been paid for as a direct results of new homes. Providing new homes for people also means better facilities for the wider community. These are the very things that turn a collection of houses into communities; brand new places where people want to live.

“As we approach this important election, politicians must prioritise housing policies to help house builders build the homes we need.”

In advance of the election, HBF has also today published its ‘plan for boosting housing supply’, Building Communities, Growing the Economy which calls on politicians and all parties to introduce polices to address the long term undersupply of homes. Specifically, HBF asks that the next government:

  • Takes a long-term view of the conditions needed to boost supply
  • Preserves the Help to Buy equity loan scheme until at least 2020
  • Delivers a sustained increase in the supply of land coming through the planning system
  • Creates a more business friendly planning system
  • Develops a better deal on infrastructure.

For a more in depth overview of the conditions HBF believes are needed to increase supply click here

Matthew Spry, Senior Director, Head of Economics at Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners, which conducted the research on behalf of the HBF, highlighted the benefits that could be achieved from increasingly supply to match the growth in number of households.

He said:  “Our research has shown the economic and wider societal benefits that new houses can bring to communities and the national economy.

“In recent years the UK has failed to hit house building targets, and last year alone we fell short by at least 100,000 homes. It is now widely accepted that we need to build more homes, and quickly.

“If we can rise to that challenge and build at least the 100,000 extra new homes that the UK needs each year, we stand to gain immensely: £13.6bn boost to economic growth, 430,000 extra jobs, a minimum of £1.2bn more tax, more investment in new schools and in other community infrastructure.

“These benefits need to be recognised in national policy for housing and the economy, and to be properly reflected in the decisions that are made by local authorities and communities in deciding on proposals for housing development. People need homes to live in. But further, our report shows more housing will make us all more prosperous.”

-        ENDS   -

For media enquiries, or to arrange an interview, please contact Steve Turner on 020 7960 1606 or 07919 307760. Steve.turner@hbf.co.uk   

Notes to editors

  1. The Home Builders Federation (HBF) is the representative body of the home building industry in England and Wales. The HBF’s member firms account for some 80% of all new homes built in England and Wales in any one year, and include companies of all sizes, ranging from multi-national, household names through regionally based businesses to small local companies: www.hbf.co.uk
  2. Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners (NLP) is an independent planning, economics and urban design consultancy, with offices in Cardiff, Leeds, London, Reading, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh. It was set up in 1962 by highly-decorated town planner Professor Nathaniel Lichfield and is owned by its staff through an employee benefit trust. It has annual revenues of circa £16m and employs 200 people across its nationwide offices. NLP is currently RTPI Planning Consultancy of the Year, marking a hat-trick of wins and making it the first consultancy ever to achieve this feat. It is one of the largest independent planning consultancies in the UK. It offers a broad range of planning services including economics, heritage, sustainability, and urban design. Its clients include local authorities and government bodies, as well as developers, landowners and operators in the housing, retail, leisure, commercial, and infrastructure sectors.
Economic Fotprint BPF Report March 2015 WEB
(Size: 414 K, Type: pdf, last modified: 07.03.17)

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