The shortage of funding made available from banks to the smaller construction businesses in the UK has resulted in huge problems for the industry in a wider sense, according to a report carried out by the accountants and business advisers Wilkins Kennedy. The money from the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme put in place by the government has reportedly decreased to an alarmingly low extent with regard to how much the small companies receive.
The report made the assertion that £25 million was distributed in the three months leading up to June back in 2009 but the same time period for this year saw only £3.5 million given – a huge drop of 86 per cent. These problems for the smaller businesses in the construction industry have extended to the sector as a whole, and this has in turn created greater struggles for the economy in the UK. Employment in the construction business has as a result been significantly jeopardised and Wilkins Kennedy have claimed that their report proves the Enterprise Finance Guarantee is practically without use for funding small construction companies. It was also found that upwards of 3500 businesses in the industry went bust in 2011.
The property developers Hillreed Homes have been taken over by Persimmon Homes in a deal worth £35.7million. Hillreed have been around for 37 years and have been providing homes in Hampshire, Kent, Surrey and Sussex. This purchase by Persimmon, the biggest house building company in the UK according to its worth on the stock market, represents a significant move to strengthen its market share in England’s South East. The company itself stated that acquiring Hillreed is an indicator of its continuing expansion as a business.
Persimmon are set to benefit from the developments Hillreed has established in key parts of the South East and it is their intention to continue this progress though new family properties. Persimmon also builds using the alternative guise of Charles Church and the deal gives the company an extra 3,400 land plots to strengthen its growth in the region. The housing market is still very much in the process of recovery after all the struggles experienced in the industry in recent years but some progress in the near future is at least forecasted by experts. It has been suggested that this particular deal could lead to similar purchases and mergers in the housing market.
There was another month of decline for the UK’s construction sector in September as the difficulties for the industry continue. Although only 7 per cent of the country’s economy is made up of the construction business it was nevertheless a significant contributor to the return to recession in the UK this year. The findings come from a survey conducted by the financial information specialists Markit and it was indicated that there was a decrease in the amount of new orders for the fourth month in a row.
While there was a small increase in the amount of civil engineering project activity during September this was still not enough of a factor to counterbalance the effects of decreasing numbers of commercial constructions and housebuilding projects. It is predicted that the difficulties are likely to continue in the same vein with only a very gradual rise in the amount of progress estimated over the coming months for housing projects. With regard to commercial construction, the recent problems are expected to have a knock-on effect for new projects. The overall outlook is that the picture will improve but the sector is preparing for more struggles in the immediate future.
The Harley Staples Cancer Trust will be able to set up its Leicestershire home for children suffering from the disease after winning a £250,000 Persimmon Homes house. The leading house building company awarded the prize as part of their 40th year’s celebrations and the trust will now put the vision of ‘Harley’s House’ into action.
The charity was put together in honour of Jamie and Katherine Staples’ eight-year-old son Harley who died from leukaemia in 2009. The trust had already raised £250,000 and had been targeting double that amount in order to have a house where children with cancer could spend time with their families. There were 3,500 charities nominated for Persimmon’s prize and this eventually became 24, with one from each of the company’s regions for new homes.
The news comes as another impending celebration looms for Harley’s parents, with a baby on the way in the coming weeks. The amount of votes cast for the final prize exceeded 130,000 from the public and a party took place at London’s Kensington Roof Gardens. The home awarded to the Harley Staples Cancer Trust is a detached three-bedroom property in Andover which will be sold to fund Harley’s House.
The state of play within the housing industry in the UK has been discussed in detail by many in recent times and it has now been suggested that over 250,000 new homes need to be built on a yearly basis to lead the market out of its current difficulties. The claim was made by Housing Voice, who are a campaign group, as they outlined the measures they believe need to be taken by the government in light of the property market’s struggles.
Aside from the call for a greater amount of new homes, the group also stated the need for more of the help for first time buyers’ deposits to be channelled into the property market as it is, as opposed to focusing on new properties. Among the other necessary actions mentioned were the need for public sector land to be released and investment from the state.
In conjunction with the call for more new homes it was also suggested that making them more affordable was very important. The subject of affordability has often been identified as a key factor for people who ask for assistance when it comes to issues with their homes.
In an important piece of news for the house building industry it has been revealed that the amount of successful planning permission applications for new properties has risen considerably since April. The significance of this is that it was around this time that the National Planning Policy Framework took effect. This legislation was put into place as an important contributor to a less complicated system of planning designed to encourage what the government described as a sustainable level of growth.
Each month there are a reported 2000 new building projects that are given the necessary approval and within this figure there are said to be certain projects that comprise of up to hundreds of homes. The actual figures regarding this show that there were 75,567 residential planning applications given approval out of 103,806 for the period from November 1st 2011 to March 31st 2012. From April 1st to August 31st however the stats show that 85,501 out of 105,235 were approved.
One in three of the aforementioned successful planning applications came in London and England’s South East. In terms of percentage, 81 per cent of the applications were given approval since the National Planning Policy Framework was introduced, compared to 73 per cent in the five months before that.
The house building industry is set to receive a very welcome shot in the arm with the news that the Chancellor George Osborne will outline a plan to pledge a boost to the construction of new homes to the tune of £10billion. The sum is due to fit into a stimulus fund of £50billion to help the economy and it is believed that the £10billion will arrive via loan guarantees specifically for developers and housing associations.
The statement made to the BBC by George Osborne referred to a legislation that will allow the government to utilise the low rates of interest they have in order to secure house building and other related projects. In addition to the Chancellor’s announcement, the Prime Minister David Cameron has been vocal in his belief that providing houses for the population is vital to the economic recovery but he also cited the argument that is often made regarding those who do not want to see new housing developments built where they reside.
The financial package George Osborne has referred to is also expected to have other measures included with the purpose of accelerating the planning process in home building through such methods as decreasing the time it takes for judicial reviews and suchlike to be completed.
In these continuing difficult economic times there is at least a positive piece of news in the house building sector it seems, with one of the top companies in the industry in the United Kingdom revealing a very encouraging first half of the year.
Persimmon Homes provides the construction of approximately 10,000 new homes a year around the UK and the company’s managing director for the West Midlands, Steven Hird, has stated that 2012 thus far has been successful for the region.
Hird described the positive signs taken from Persimmon’s underlying profit (before tax) of £98.7 million and the rise in private sales reservations of 18 per cent each week. New properties from the company are set to open in Sheldon, Great Barr and Edgbaston in the not too distant future with legal completions also rising by six per cent compared to the first six months of last year.
The house building industry in the UK has still been hampered of late by such factors as the limited availability regarding mortgage credit but Persimmon have spoken of their optimism in light of new measures backed by the government to help buyers with affordability.
Stability has become a very important word in the housing industry in recent years because the UK economy at large has been anything but stable. Demand for new housing developments is increasing all the time and at every level, from affordable starter homes right up to the top end of the property ladder. However, the major house builders have not enjoyed favourable enough market conditions to meet that demand head on.
It has been reported in the last few days that Taylor Wimpey, one of the UK’s biggest and most influential house builders, has seen an increase in revenues in the first half of this year of 11.6pc. UK house prices have been falling rapidly in the last couple of months so it is good news that a house builder of Taylor Wimpey’s standing is in a position of some strength and stability.
One of the chief reasons behind Taylor Wimpey’s good fortune of late is a community and customer engagement programme that is aimed at generating sales and that may also be behind increased support for planning applications – a vital part of meeting the demand for housing in the nationwide.
for housing in the nationwide.
In the previous post we discussed the ways in which self-build projects allow individuals, couples and families to design entire homes according to their personal tastes. This represents a really positive approach because it makes the house a more pleasant place to spend time – a place that truly reflects what you want in a living space.
However, it is not all just about aesthetics. There is definitely a sense in which convenience comes into things around the house. Can a home really feel like a home if it is impractical and doesn’t suit your personal requirements in terms of functionality? This may come into play more and more as your life changes and you have different responsibilities. When you are in a position to build your own home, you may be able to outline precisely all the practical ways your house should differ from those you have lived in previously.
Personalisation is definitely a mixture of aesthetics and convenience where construction is concerned. Successful self-build projects are those that satisfy on a visual and comfortable level as well as on a functional level.