Land Availability And Finance Issues For Small Housebuilders

Housebuilder using a hammer

SME housebuilders have revealed some of the biggest challenges they face in the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) House Builders’ Survey 2017. Top of the list is a lack of suitable sites, with 62 per cent of those questioned stating this is the biggest barrier they face.

What’s more, 54 per cent report that a lack of access to finance is holding them back from constructing more properties.

As well as finding it difficult to source appropriate sites, over half (54 per cent) revealed that they believe the number of sites for small house building projects is decreasing in the UK, a trend that FMB chief executive Brian Berry described as more worrying than the lack of land in the first instance.

He said that the housing whitepaper published by the government earlier this year stressed a need to diversify from the small number of large companies that currently dominate the UK’s house building industry. “We need the government to make good on its proposals to improve the availability of small sites and speed up the planning process for small sites,” Mr Berry stated.

Small house builders are also worried about the effect Brexit could have on their industry, with one-third currently employing EU workers. They stated that they’re concerned about what immigration changes following the UK’s exit from the EU could mean for their workforce.

Last month, research from the Local Government Association (LGA) revealed that the average UK home will need to last for 2,000 years if the current rate of building doesn’t improve.

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