Wales Policy

Planning policy in Wales is devolved to the Welsh Government. HBF frequently engages with the Welsh Government and Members of the Senedd (MSs) on the key challenges facing the home building industry in Wales.

Current issues of concern to the home building industry in Wales include slow progress in updating Local Development Plans (LDPs), development viability, and broader market conditions such as rising material costs and limited mortgage availability.

This webpage outlines HBF's research relating to the home building industry in Wales, and provides links to resources for our Welsh members.

For our Welsh members, HBF has issued the following documents designed to support policy and public affairs activity:

  • Home Building by Numbers: A short slide desk containing key statistics demonstrating the industry’s contribution and impact in Wales with regards to housing supply, economic activity, planning permissions, energy efficiency and other areas.
  • Key Messages: A longer and more detailed document outlining the background to a number of policy issues in Wales and HBF's key messages.

These documents will be updated and reissued on a regular basis.

A Parliamentary Newsletter is sent regularly to Members of the Senedd (MSs). The newsletter includes information on industry activity, the challenges facing the sector, and HBF’s policy and campaigns work.

Click 'more' below to view the latest Wales Parliamentary Newsletter.

Wales Social Media Updates

For more frequent updates on housing matters in Wales, follow our @HBFWales X account (formerly twitter).

HBF Wales Twitter

Workforce Census

A new census of the home building industry’s onsite workforce in Wales reveals the breakdown of the workforce by age, gender, nationality, and ethnicity.

The census, conducted by HBF, finds that 95.62% of the workforce are UK/British passport holders, and just 2.86% were from EU/EEA countries. This is a stark contrast to the data from the UK as a whole, where overseas workers account for around 20% of the workforce.

The survey also reveals that the Welsh workforce is overwhelmingly male (94.42%), and the most prevalent age group onsite is 20-29 (30.35% of all respondents).

Wales Census

- 364.3 KB


Watt A Save: Energy efficiency savings of new homes in Wales

A key advantage for purchasers of new build homes is that they are considerably more energy efficient than their predecessors.

HBF research has found that 87% of new build homes in Wales were rated A or B for energy performance from April to June 2023, while only 4.4% of existing properties reached the same standards.

Our 'Watt A Save' research has also found that the average new build buyer in Wales will spend £1,184 a year on energy bills, compared to £3,145 for an existing property – a 62% saving.

View more of the data in the document below:

Wales Watt A Save

- 251.6 KB


Public opinion on home building in Wales

HBF's Housing the Nation report explores public perceptions of the chronic shortage of homes across Wales. With the next General Election on the horizon, the survey demonstrates that beyond a vocal minority, the majority of the public in Wales are supportive of new homes to tackle the housing crisis.

Welsh respondents to HBF's survey were also more likely than respondents from any other part of the UK to say housing will determine their vote at the next election.

View more of the survey data from Wales by downloading the document below:

Home building in Wales: Public opinion

- 910.3 KB


Unspent developer contributions in Wales

HBF research has found that local authorities in Wales are, on average, sitting on over £5.1 million in unspent developer contributions. The research is based on a sample of 14 Welsh councils who provided data following a Freedom of Information survey exercise, and reveals that more than £71m remains unspent in Wales overall. If extrapolating out to all Welsh councils, around £112m is likely to be held unspent.

The survey exercise shows that Cardiff City Council holds the most in unspent contributions (£23.3m), and Pembrokeshire County Council holds the most in unspent affordable housing contributions (£4.4m).

This research demonstrates that a lack of capacity or unwillingness to spend developer contributions is preventing communities from realising the benefits that have been paid for by builders.

The full report with findings from across the UK can be found here.

Help to Buy Wales

Help to Buy Wales continues to operate, with the current phase running from April 2023 until March 2025. This latest phase also included an increase in the price cap from £250K to £300K. The Welsh Government are currently reviewing the success of the scheme and considering future options.

Since its launch in January 2014, Help to Buy Wales has helped over 13,000 households buy new build homes, of which nearly 80% were first time buyers.

HBF has welcomed the decision by the Welsh Government to extend the scheme, which is an important part of the Welsh Government’s wider strategy to improve the Welsh housing market and promote economic growth.