Brexit will hit housebuilder numbers: SMP

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Britain leaving the European Union could create a shortage of labour to build houses, according to the Society of Mortgage Professionals.

The society says that as much as 12 per cent of the workforce in the construction industry come from other EU states.

The body adds that the future ability to recruit from abroad is likely to be hampered by new, post-Brexit immigration policies.

Society of Mortgage Professionals head of professional development Lee Travis says this could lead to a shortage at a time when the construction sector most needs a pool of skilled labour to support a house-building revival.

He says: “We are in total agreement with The Federation of Master Builders that the construction industry acts as a weather vane for the property market.

“They are saying that almost two thirds of smaller builders are struggling to find bricklayers and more than half are finding it hard to source enough carpenters and joiners.

“There is a huge skills shortage in the United Kingdom and the prospect of not having easy access to EU migrants post-Brexit could mean that this gap is set to widen.

“Ideally therefore, we would like to see some official assurance that EU workers will remain in the UK after the split.”