Solid foundations needed in 2014


It’s that time of year when most of us can take a deep breath, put our feet up for a few days, eat, drink and be merry.

However, spare a thought not only for those less fortunate but also for those having to plough on work-wise throughout the Christmas period.

Although for some this is far from bad news. It’s been reported that brick makers are staying open over the Christmas period for the first time since 2007 to catch up with growing demand.

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins is said to have hailed the impact of Help to Buy for delivering this surge in business.

Brick production in 2013 is expected to be around 1.73 billion bricks, enough to go around the earth nine times or build 28 St Pancras stations. 

I must confess the round the earth nine times stat does sound far more impressive.

But there is now a range of data available that indicates the construction industry is certainly ending 2013 on a high.

This would include the recent statistics from the Home Builders Federation which suggest that planning permission for new homes is up 31 per cent year-on-year.

We have also had data from the National House Building Council which showed new home registrations in the third quarter to be up 19 per cent when compared to third quarter 2012 figures.

Plus, Government records indicating the number of private sector new homes starts in England in the third quarter to be up 29 per cent year-on-year to register the highest level since the first quarter of 2008.

Unfortunately there is a small but.

Despite all this much needed positivity the fact remains that the number of new homes being built still falls short of the numbers required to meet the UK’s level of housing need.

Therefore it’s vital that this momentum continues into 2014 as more affordable new homes continue to be built on the back of such solid foundations laid by the house building industry. Groan.

And on the back of that terrible pun let me take this opportunity to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.