House building in the North West up by 74% in 5 years

12 Nov, 2019

House building in the North West up by 74% in 5 years

The region is reaping the benefits of new build success, but must do more to tackle housing crisis

A new report released today, based on research carried out by Lichfields for the Home Builders Federation (HBF), shows the huge contribution house building is making to the economy of the North West of England[1]. Over 26,000 new homes were provided in the area in the last year (2017-2018), generating over £4.5 billion of economic activity.

As well as being a major employer and supporter of local smaller supply chain businesses, new developments make significant contributions towards local infrastructure and amenities through development taxes. The benefits that house building brings are major for the communities in the North West, and there are some great benefits to be had.


The report shows that in 2017/18, house building in the North West of England was responsible for:

  • Supporting over 83,000 local jobs
  • Delivering over £4.5 billion of economic activity
  • Generating over £323m of tax, the equivalent of employing an additional 13,706 new police constables[2] or 14,609 newly qualified nurses[3]
  • Delivering over £21m of spending on new and improved schools, the equivalent of employing 911 newly qualified teachers[4], or funding 4,601 additional primary school places[5]
  • Generated an investment of over £744m in new Affordable Housing
  • Produced investment of over £7.9m in open spaces, such as parks and forests
  • An additional £706m spending in local shops. 

The report also underlines the impact the Government’s Help to Buy scheme is having in the region. Over 27,000 properties have been purchased using the scheme across the North West since its launch in 2013, with over 22,000 (82%) of those purchases coming from first time buyers.

Since the scheme launched, home building has increased by 276% in Cheshire West and Chester. Cheshire East delivered a massive 134% increase in housing over this period, followed by 116% in Lancashire.

Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman at the Home Builders Federation, said; “For too long the vast social and economic benefits of house building have gone unnoticed in our communities. This research shows that the home building industry is delivering much more than bricks and mortar and by working with local authorities, it is helping to provide a massive economic boost to the North West of England. Over the last five years house building has given the economy a £4.5 billion shot in the arm and provided much-needed additional funding for local schools and community facilities.”

If the Government’s target of building 300,000 homes per year was achieved it would mean an extra 930,000 jobs created across England, and a massive £8.32bn pumped into new affordable housing. 

Housing is inextricably linked to the wider health of the economy and it is often referred to as a key barometer of national economic performance. But it is also important to recognise that it also has a range of significant effects on economic performance at regional and local levels too. In particular, house building:

  • Drives regional economic growth through its vast and varied supply chains and contracting relationships;
  • Generates unrivalled investment multiplier effects with very little import leakage due to the extensive use of local and regional suppliers and services;
  • Delivers real jobs both on-site and off-site in associated trades, such as cement production and brick manufacturing, as well as in research and development fields looking at technological innovation areas such as Modern Methods of Construction;
  • Creates economic value through new residents as they spend money on goods and services in the local economy;
  • Supports labour market mobility wellbeing by enabling local people to move jobs freely and achieve their economic potential;
  • Enhances “place competitiveness” and local economic development by improving the perceived competitiveness of specific locations and reducing the costs of mitigating social and environmental problems associated with poor or insufficient housing.


  • ENDS -


For media enquiries, or to arrange an interview, please contact Claire Coward on 020 7960 1614 or 077 3268 2114.      


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:
  2. Please see the North West Economic Footprint Report for more detailed figures 


[1] For the purposes of this report, the North West refers to the Unitary Authorities of Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool, Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Halton and Warrington. And also covers the Metropolitan counties of Greater Manchester and Merseyside, and the local authority areas of Cumbria and Lancashire.

[2] Police Now, Salary and benefits

[3] Royal College of Nursing, NHS Pay Scales 2017-18

[4] Prospects, How much do teachers get paid? July 2018

[5] BBC News, Seven charts on the £73,000 cost of educating a child, 19 November 2018