Housing pipeline report - Q2 2020 report - Published October 2020
The national lockdown period was a tough one for home builders because of uncertainties around the market and their own business environment but also because of resource constraints and priorities within local authorities.
It was inevitable that applications would drop, not least because a lot of builders were forced to furlough staff, but also because of the uncertainty caused by the pandemic.
For several years investment by builders in its workforce and future sites has been running at record levels. Planning permissions have been at record high levels which has allowed the number of homes being built to double in recent years.
Government remains committed to increasing supply still further and demand is strong, evidenced by the very strong recovery of the new homes market in recent months.
There is some uncertainty in the medium term as a result of the impact of coronavirus, and potentially Brexit on the economy and so consumer confidence- which is key to new home sales. As we approach an uncertain time for the housing market, builders must consider broader economic challenges as well as reforms to Help to Buy as they make decisions about further investment.
In the longer term, Government and industry remain committed to delivering more homes and the underlying demand remains very strong but finding ways to support households onto the housing ladder will be vital. Local Authority commitment to maintaining five-year land supply and granting permissions efficiently and quickly will be key to the industry’s ability to ramp production back up to pre-coronavirus levels.