Remove barriers and SMEs could deliver 25k more homes a year – says new HBF report.
A new report published by the Home Builders Federation (HBF) highlights the challenges faced by SME house builders looking to increase output and sets out a range of proposals to address the finance, planning, and red tape barriers preventing smaller firms from playing a bigger part in tackling the housing crisis.
It notes that over the past 25 years the number of SME builders has reduced by circa. 80%, but, the report states, just getting back to the number operating in 2007 could produce an additional 25,000 homes a year.
The report ‘Reversing the decline of small housebuilders‘ suggests a number of steps Government could take to help including;
- The creation of a new Help to Build scheme to help extend sustainable lending to smaller companies
- Tackling specific planning problems that disproportionately affect the business environment for SMEs, including the lack of smaller sites and the impact of pre-commencement conditions
- Lift barriers for builders to access tax incentives and other support enjoyed by SMEs in other sectors
- Provide technical and planning advice services for fledgling businesses
- Seize the opportunity of Brexit to reform EU regulation reducing the risk and complexity associated with building new homes
Stewart Baseley executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation said: “Whilst housing output has increased significantly in recent years, the vast majority of the increases have come from larger companies. The number of smaller builders has collapsed over recent decades with few new entrants to the market able to grow to any size.
“If Government wants to see continued increases in supply it is imperative it enables SME builders to play their part. Removing the barriers for SME builders could result in tens of thousands of desperately needed additional homes being built and boost economies up and down the country.”