Housebuilders licking their lips at prospect of political windfall

The UK press appears to have turned more positive on Jeremy Corbyn as his share of the projected vote amongst the UK public continues to grow. One poll yesterday suggested there would be a hung Parliament after the vote on 8 June as the Conservative party lead has dropped from over 20% to under 10% – if some of the polls are to be believed. The Conservative party will be under extreme pressure, if indeed Theresa May is re-elected, to pump large amount of money into the UK housing industry in order to match an array of Labour pledges. As a consequence, UK housebuilders must be licking their lips of at the prospect of a political windfall no matter which party wins.

Are we turning a corner for UK housebuilding?

There is growing confidence that whoever forms the next UK government they will be under extreme pressure to pump billions of pounds into the UK housing industry. This may be through an array of financial assistance schemes, partnerships and tax incentives for UK housebuilders to up the number of newbuilds. It also appears fairly certain that many previously unsuccessful planning applications could be overturned in relation to green belt and brown land. The UK government has already created an array of new powers for local authorities and will be watching how they use these powers going forward.

Shortage of skilled workers

For some time now the UK housebuilding industry has been complaining of a shortage of skilled workers due to a reduction in investment in apprenticeship schemes going back many decades. Historically apprenticeships were a great way for young people to climb aboard the employment ladder and work in the housebuilding industry. Various changes to the way in which companies are remunerated when taking on apprentices, and the various training costs, has seen the number of apprenticeships fall significantly. An often volatile housebuilding market has not helped the situation but there are high hopes of significant investment going forward.

The Conservative party, wherever possible, tends to leave markets to market forces but Labour has promised a large investment in apprenticeship schemes and, assuming the Conservative party is re-elected, Theresa May will be under pressure to follow suit.

Public momentum grows

Over the years the general public has been highly critical of various UK governments and their “attempts” to help first-time buyers in the UK. Both Labour and the Conservatives have often waxed lyrical about financial assistance, more new builds and other helpful regulations but they have been extremely light on substance. It would appear that Jeremy Corbyn has reignited this public concern about a shortage of new build properties in the UK and momentum is growing for change.

At the end of the day the Conservative party expected the forthcoming election to be a walk in the park with Jeremy Corbyn seen as a non-runner. The situation has changed dramatically over the last week and despite Theresa May receiving acclaim for her handling of the Manchester terrorist atrocity she has seen her lead in the polls more than halved. If Theresa May is re-elected there will be a number of policies and additional investment needed to quell the anger amongst the general public. This should help the UK housebuilding sector which is why many companies in the industry will be licking their lips in anticipation of future financial and practical assistance.

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