New homes boost the economy

The house building industry is now generating £38b a year and supporting some 700,000 jobs.

A 74 per cent increase in house building activity in the past four years has provided a huge boost to the UK economy, according to research by planning and development consultancy Lichfields.

House building activity contributes economically in different ways, including providing jobs, tax revenues and contributing funding for local infrastructure and communities.

And with government targeting further increases in supply, the knock-on benefits are set to increase still further.

The report shows that last year the house building industry supported 698,000 jobs, including 239,000 direct (18 per cent of the UK construction industry), and generated £2.7b in tax revenues.

It provided £841 million towards infrastructure, including £122m for new or improved schools; spent £11.7b with suppliers – 90 per cent of which stays in the UK – and invested £12b in land for new homes.

The report also shows the impact the big increases in housing supply have had.

Since Lichfields last ran the Economic Footprint report for the House Builders Federation (HBF) in 2015, the economic activity generated has almost doubled (from £19.2b to £38b).

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the HBF says: “The house building industry is a massive driver of the UK economy and makes a huge contribution to communities across the country.

“While delivering much-needed new homes of all tenures, house builders are quietly creating and sustaining jobs, generating receipts for the exchequer and boosting investment in infrastructure and amenities in villages, towns and cities.

“As well as becoming ever more reliant on private builders to deliver affordable housing through planning agreements, vast sums are ploughed into new roads, schools and community facilities every year.  

“The unprecedented increases in housing supply in recent years have delivered significant benefits for UKPLC and the industry is investing in more land and people to enable it to go further and build more.

“The industry is calling on government to work with it to create the policies that will allow it to deliver the government’s ambition of 300,000 homes a year in England.

“Delivering more homes will not only help solve our acute housing crisis, but also provide a further boost to communities and economies up and down the country.”