Small and medium-sized housebuilders still facing barriers to building.
The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has recently undertaken the House Builders’ Survey 2017, this survey received a number of responses from small and medium-sized (SME) housebuilders. What has emerged from this survey is that despite the Government initiatives such as the Home Building Fund, which provides access to a £3 million pot to be used for development and infrastructure finance, around 54% of small housebuilders have admitted that accessing finance is a major barrier to their capacity to build more homes. This is an increase of 4% from 2016.
As Brian Berry, Chief executive at the FMB, stated “Almost a decade after the financial crisis, access to finance for small housebuilders is getting worse instead of getting better. The results of the FMB House Builders’ Survey suggest a slight worsening in the problems these firms face in accessing the finance they need to build.” Although Mr Berry highlights that the Home Building Fund is getting generally positives views there needs to be more done in order to enable SMEs to access the finance they need.
However the most common barrier that SMEs are experiencing in their bid to build more houses is a lack of available land to build houses, with 62% of respondents stating this as a barrier and an additional 54% of respondents highlighted that the number of opportunities for small site development is decreasing.
In the Housing White Paper, released early this year, a number of measures were suggested to remove the barrier facing small house builders. However, until these are successfully enacted it is uncertain how SMEs will help to stem the national housing crisis and successfully contribute.