A few days ago, we wrote that “it is vital that construction continues through these unsettling times,” according to Kwasi Kwarteng, the new business secretary. These views are said to be shared by Rishi Sunak, who is reported to be determined to keep the housing market and construction open.
House building has so far proven particularly resilient during the pandemic and this week, Persimmon Plc, the UK’s biggest housebuilder, said the long-term outlook for the country’s housing market remained resilient despite the economic gloom and latest national lockdown.
As reported by Bloomberg, the company delivered its upbeat assessment as it reported full-year revenue of £3.33 billion in a trading update on Wednesday.
Looking to the longer-term, the UK housing market looks resilient
“Despite the impact of the unprecedented events of 2020, the levels of customer interest Persimmon has experienced, particularly through the second half of the year, demonstrates the resilient demand for new homes,” the company stated, adding that: “On entering the third phase of tighter Covid-19 restrictions, whilst recognising the commencement of the nationwide vaccine roll out, the uncertainties surrounding the potential impact of the pandemic remain, particularly with regard to unemployment levels and consumer confidence.
“However, we believe that the longer term fundamentals of the UK housing market remain resilient.”
Housing completions almost tripled in the third quarter of 2020
While many are focusing on what the short and longer term future holds for the housing market, this week the government released new data on the third quarter of last year, when housing completions almost tripled.
Construction Enquirer reported that the latest government statistics released on 14th January show 45,000 homes were completed in the period – a 185% increase on the previous quarter. Starts also more than doubled with an 111% increase to 35,710.
The government said:
“Today’s figures reflect the housing and construction industry’s resilience and measures they have taken to keep building sites open, in line with public health advice.”
Related read: With house building remaining a key factor in boosting the UK economy, as Advantage noted earlier this month, calls are being made for the chancellor to extend the stamp duty holiday (which is due to come to an end at the end of March).
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