Brick industry cheered by No 10’s focus on housebuilding

The Brick Development Association is welcoming the support being promised to the housebuilding sector from the new Government team.

“Rarely has a Prime Minister put as much immediate emphasis on housebuilding as the incoming Theresa May,” said Andrew Eagles, Chief Executive Officer of the Brick Development Association (BDA). “It is hugely welcome to see the problems associated with the housing deficit being recognised and to see a commitment to addressing the shortfall coming from all sides of the political spectrum.”

The strength of this commitment was echoed in a speech from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark on Tuesday evening as he referred to housebuilding as “absolutely essential to the mission not just of the Government but the whole country. We need to resolve what has been many decades of under-provision of housing in all parts of the country.”

Not only is the Government committed to maintaining its support for private sector housebuilding, but the Prime Minister is also apparently concerned to address the social issues around ever-increasing house prices.

She said, “[Unless] we deal with the housing deficit, we will see house prices keep on rising. Young people will find it even harder to afford their own home. The divide between those who inherit wealth and those who don’t will become more pronounced.

“And more and more of the country’s money will go into expensive housing instead of more productive investments that generate more economic growth.”

Andrew Eagles sees cause for optimism in these comments. “In any market economy there has to be a strong correlation between supply and demand.  If the new Prime Minister’s initial focus on housebuilding supply is carried through into policy we should see: easing of planning constraints; more encouragement for SME and regional builders and, who knows, potentially a new phase of public sector housing which has in the past significantly helped boost housing numbers.

“Sometimes it takes a major shock to the system to completely re-shape the political landscape. We’ve certainly had the shock, maybe the fallout will result in a long-overdue rethink of our housing strategy.”

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