The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) says the the latest data from S&P Global / CIPS UK Construction PMI, is worrying for industry and consumers alike as the UK desperately needs new homes.
The S&P Global / CIPS UK Construction PMI is compiled by S&P Global from responses to questionnaires sent to a panel of around 150 construction companies. The panel is stratified by company workforce size, based on contributions to GDP.
The report found that lower volumes of residential building work have now been recorded for four months in a row and housing activity decreased at a sharp and accelerated pace in March 2023. The rate of decline was the fastest since May 2020, with survey respondents often citing fewer tender opportunities due to rising borrowing costs and a subsequent slowdown in new house building projects.
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB said: “While the data reveals overall construction activity is on the rise, and access to materials is easing, the latest stats show the delivery of new homes continues to decline. It’s troubling that house building is the weakest-performing area within construction as the country is in the grips of a housing crisis, with smaller builders feeling the pinch on top of decline in their output over recent decades.
“The FMB supports the Government’s plans to build more beautiful and locally sympathetic homes, but there is no clear plan for how this will happen. We need to see increased funding to local authority planning departments to help them take on and train more planning staff and a greatly simplified planning process to get homes out of planning purgatory”.