The wider marketplace has been quite chaotic over the past three years; the British exit from the European Union becoming official, a global pandemic with subsequent worldwide lockdowns and a mass vaccination rollout, a housing market mini boom, the Ukrainian/Russian war, the death of Her Royal Highness the Queen, the resignation of two Prime Minister’s with a third instated mere weeks after the first left, an economic crash with inflation and interest rates skyrocketing, then the “cost-of-living crisis” bringing a recession into the mix. Evidentially, a lot can happen in just three years, and the knock-on effect that these events have had on the construction industry are undeniable. We wanted to share our hopes for the next three years ahead; so what do we want for the future of UK construction…
Although we are unfortunately in a recession, we hope that, as it has before, the government will prioritise construction as a means to regrow the economy, and therefore implement government funding and grants. We predict that the UK construction industry can certainly anticipate several challenging months while the new government, namely latest Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the latest Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt, draw up proposals for recovery. All statistics point to an economic recovery by 2025.
Brexit and Covid19 both contributed to labour shortages within the construction industry, with foreign workers unable to migrate and work in the UK under new Brexit law, and Covid19 forcing vulnerable workers into an early retirement. We predict that the government will address this issue by implementing government funded apprenticeship schemes to train and upskill a new generation of workers. Another possibility is that Brexit restrictions will ease to allow foreign workers. Already there are discussions amongst the Spanish government regarding a “Brexit visa” which if implemented will allow Brits to work in Spain as they could before. We hope that our own government will follow suit.
During Covid19 government mandated lockdowns we experienced a housing market mini-boom; between those refined to their homes now wanting to move to rural locations or upgrade to a larger space and garden, those sadly losing their jobs and having to downsize, separation and divorce rates rapidly increasing meaning another living situation was required, as well as a temporary reduction in stamp duty. Construction within the housing sector was thriving, but the cost-of-living crisis has put a sharp halt on activity and growth. With inflation driving up the price of materials deterring developers, and rising interest rates discouraging buyers, the housing market is now experiencing a mini-crash. How will it move from recession to recovery? The government have already made small steps in the right direction to fix this issue, with a permanent reduction in stamp duty being implemented. We predict (and hope) that the government will reintroduce help-to-buy schemes and lower percentage mortgage deposits, and activity will slowly rebuild within the marketplace.
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