Commercial Developers Wait for Brexit Clouds to Clear

Growth in the construction industry slowed last month for the first time since September.

construction things on a table

Uncertainty over Brexit and the future trading relationship between Britain and the European Union was blamed for moderate fall in commercial building work, continuing a downward trend that began in July.

The slowdown was outlined in the purchasing managers’ index for construction, a closely watched survey of the health of the sector. The industry makes up about only 7 per cent of the economy, but developers’ investment decisions are an indicator of how optimistic businesses are about Britain’s confidence and prospects.

The survey’s measure slipped to a balance of 52.2 in December, after hitting a five-month high of 53.1 in November. Any reading above 50 indicates growth, while a figure below represents contraction.

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Carillion Collapses into Liquidation as Talks Fail

Carillion is to enter compulsory liquidation after failing to reach an agreement with lenders to keep it afloat, putting major government contracts and thousands of jobs at risk.

carillion

In a statement, the company said: “Carillion continued to engage with its key financial and other stakeholders, including the government, over the course of the weekend regarding options to reduce debt and strengthen the group’s balance sheet.

“As part of this engagement, Carillion also asked those stakeholders for limited short term financial support, to enable it to continue to trade whilst longer-term engagement continued.

“Despite considerable efforts, those discussions have not been successful, and the board of Carillion has therefore concluded that it had no choice but to take steps to enter into compulsory liquidation with immediate effect.”

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‘Smaller builders mean happier customers’ says survey

House buyers are twice as likely to be satisfied with homes built by a small building company than by one of the majors, new research suggests.

'Smaller builders mean happier customers' says survey

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has looked into satisfaction rates among people who have bought a newly-built home in the past five years. It found that 36% of those whose home was built by a small and medium-sized (SME) house-builder described themselves as ‘very satisfied’ with the quality of their new home.

By comparison, on 17% of customers of Top 20 house-builders were ‘very satisfied’ with the quality.

The FMB said that this showed that smaller local builders were better than big national ones.

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Alok Sharma opens UK’s first ‘plot shop’ for self and custom-build homes

The UK’s first-ever ‘plot shop’ has been officially opened in the town of Bicester in Oxfordshire by the housing and planning minister Alok Sharma.

self- and custom-build homes

The plot shop is located on the high street and the outlet will sell plots of land on the Graven Hill site in Oxfordshire to those who wish to build their own home.

The Graven Hill development is set to be the largest of its kind in the UK, delivering up to 1,900 new self and custom-build homes.

The plot shop promises to pioneer custom- and self-build as a mainstream choice for aspiring homeowners.

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BuildStore CEO Raymond Connor says, “We need to review what custom build really means.”

Over the past 12 months, custom build has been a buzzword within our industry. However, not much has happened over the last year. This was down to the fact that there were very few companies within the wider property sector that knew much about the market’s potential.

custom build

However, the recent Housing White Paper, which has effectively given government endorsement to custom build, has had an enormous effect and brought this route to homeownership to the forefront of people’s minds in the industry.

Since the Paper was published we, BuildStore, have had renewed interest from lenders who are attracted to custom build due to the assistance that professional developers can offer to purchasers.

We are in the process of speaking to a variety of lenders about what custom build entails, and the advantages of entering the market. However, the question always asked by lenders is: “What is the difference between self-build and custom build?”

Each month we seem to have a more firmed up view that custom build is all about developer involvement, with developers providing the opportunities.

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