House building providing huge economic boost to West of England

30 Jan, 2019

House building providing huge economic boost to West of England

16,703 jobs supported by industry in the region

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 in the West of England[1]. Over 5,000 new homes were provided in the region over the last year, generating just short of £1bn to the local economy.

As well as being a major employer and supporter of local supply chain businesses, new developments make significant contributions towards local infrastructure and amenities through development taxes.

The report shows that in 2017/18, house building was responsible for:

  • Supporting 16,700 local jobs
  • Delivering over £900m of economic activity, the equivalent of the UK’s problem household debt[2]
  • Generating over £64m of tax, the equivalent of employing approximately 2,700 new police constables[3]
  • Delivering over £4m of spending on new and improved schools, the equivalent of employing 124 additional teachers[4], or funding 924 additional primary school places[5]
  • An investment of over £1.6m in open spaces, the equivalent of 2,225 hectares of forest[6]

The report also underlines the impact the Government’s Help to Buy scheme is having in the region. Over 4,000 properties have been purchased using the scheme across the West of England since its launch in 2012, with 85% of those purchases coming from first time buyers.

Since the scheme launch home building has increased by 82.9% in the West of England. Bath and North East Somerset delivered a 127% increase in housing over this period, followed by 90% in South Gloucestershire, 65% in Bristol and 59% in North Somerset respectively.

Over this five-year period, housebuilding in the West of England has generated £414.3m in economic activity and £29.4m extra tax.

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 providing a massive economic boost to the South West. Over the last five years, in the West of England alone, house building has given the economy a £414m shot in the arm and provided much-needed additional funding for local schools and community facilities.

“With the Government’s target to build 300,000 new homes every year until the mid-2020’s, the West of England should continue to see these benefits increase.”

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 West of England Economic Footprint Report for more detailed figures.


[1] For the purposes of this report, the West of England refers solely to the West of England Combined Authority (Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucestershire) and North Somerset.

[2] Problem debt costs the UK economy £900 million a year  

[3] Police Now, Salary and benefits

[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

[6] The Guardian, A eureka moment for the planet: we’re finally planting trees again, 13 February 2018

HBF Report - West of ENGLAND FINAL.pdf

PDF - 512.7 KB


// Media JS