Beast from the East hampers housebuilding across the UK

Beast from the East hampers housebuilding across the UK

New figures have shown that the number of new houses that were meant to be built in the first three months of the year dropped by 14%, which is being put down to how harsh the winter weather was.

The drop represents the worst percentage fall in a three month period since 2012, and the statistics came from the National House Building Council (NHBC).

The NHBC did say that generally, the overall trend for new housebuilding over the decade as a whole was up, but the harsh winter meant that the annual number of new builds for 2017-18 dropped by 2%.

However, the annual fall does also appear to suggest that the government are finding it tough to hit their own target of building 300,000 new homes every year, in addition to just how much of an impact the Beast from the East in February and March caused.

Speaking about the figures, Steve Wood – the chief executive of the NHBC – opened up more on the key factor being the Beast from the East, and just how disruptive the wintery conditions were for homebuilders working on site at the time.

“By far the biggest influence was the Beast from the East, the extreme cold weather that we had,” Wood said.

“That was very disruptive. I was on site and nothing was happening, the ground was frozen and there was a biting wind.

“Builders typically lost something like 30 days production – that has an impact on registrations, what’s coming through the pipeline. That is the main reason we saw the slowdown in the first quarter.”

Despite the poor weather though, Britain’s house builders are still not building as many houses as they were before the global financial crisis, which took place in 2008 and had a massive effect on just about everything in the UK.

Mr Wood believes that one of the key reasons for this is due to a lack of bricklayers, while that new methods of building homes – for example, modular units that are put together in factories before being transported to construction sites – need to be promoted a lot faster.

“To get to the 300,000 would require something like an additional 25,000 bricklayers,” he said.

“That’s not going to happen so we need to change the way that we build houses and embrace modern methods much more fully.”

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