Housebuilding Slumps in First Quarter as Snow Hits
Just 36,637 new homes were registered compared to 42,405 in the same period last year and this could partly be attributed to slow progress on building sites due to the bad weather during the start of the year. In some instances, housebuilders reported up to 30 days being lost on site in the first quarter of the year as a direct result of snowy conditions.
But even accounting for the poor weather, Britain’s housebuilders are still not building as many houses as before the financial crisis. The annual fall reveals not just the impact of the Beast from the East in February and March but also how tough the government will find hitting its own target of building 300,000 new homes a year.
April data did indicate a moderate recovery in construction output following the weather-related disruptions. House building was the main category of activity to experience robust growth in April according to the seasonally adjusted IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index. However, there were signs that underlying demand across the construction sector remained subdued, with total new work rising only marginally in April.