Liquid error: wrong number of arguments (2 for 1) Housebuilding activity slows as planning delays stall growth | Marsh & Parsons Sales and Lettings Estate Agents London

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Housebuilding activity slows as planning delays stall growth

Tue 19 Apr 2016

UK housebuilding rose at its slowest rate for three years in March as a result of planning delays and fears over
Brexit. Growth in the private housing sector slowed down considerably during the first quarter of 2016 despite the
government promising to deliver 400,000 new homes by the next general election.According to the latest
construction figures from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, only 36% of those working in the sector
reported a rise in growth rather than a fall in the first quarter of 2016. In the first quarter of 2015 this figure was
closer to 50%.Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: "Our survey tells us that planning delays are one of
the biggest barriers to growth in the construction sector. We have recommended that councils work together to
create a team of emergency planners who can parachute into boroughs that are experiencing significant delays,
therefore reducing a major growth barrier."That said, we cannot discount the climate of uncertainty caused by the
forthcoming EU referendum. We know that a range of sectors have been affected by these issues as investors
look to delay any decisions until a final outcome has been determined, and construction is no exception."As part
of a drive to help first-time buyers on to the property ladder, the government has said it will invest 7 billion to
build 400,000 homes by 2020.In the Autumn Statement last year, Chancellor George Osborne pledged to build
200,000 starter homes with 20% discounts for under-40s, 135,000 shared ownership homes, 10,000 rent-to-buy
homes and 8,000 specialist properties for the elderly and disabled."One might well ask why growth in private
housing workloads is softening at a time when policy is firmly focussed on the creation of new starter homes. We
have long held the view that starter homes cannot be the only solution. There is an issue around the availability
of land on which new houses can be built, and we would like to see more being done to free up private brownfield
sites," said Rubinsohn.Charles Holland, head of residential development and investment at Marsh & Parsons,
said: "Within London, despite remaining well above the long-term average, this quarter has seen the construction
of new homes fall by around 40%. According to the GLA, the capital needs to deliver 42,000 homes over the next
10 years to keep pace with demand in the market and at this pace of construction growth, we will struggle to
meet this target."Theres been much talk about loosening planning permission and freeing up government land as
a way of taking residential construction in the capital up to the next level. Both are valid points but addressing the
current skills shortage in the construction industry is the real key to unlocking a housebuilding boom."

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