The planning system remains a complicated issue. New recreational moratoriums and the issue of nutrient neutrality is resulting in a lot of sites being stuck in the planning system. The Government has intimated reforms may be coming, but uncertainty doesn’t help.
The sector’s strengths haven’t changed much from a year ago; there’s still massive underlying demand and a shortage of supply. What has changed is the increasing consumer demand for better insulated and low carbon homes in the face of the energy crisis – this is driving growth in the new build market.
The availability of both people and land remains a weakness. As new regulations are being introduced, including Future Homes Standards and Part M, the industry doesn’t have enough people who understand what’s needed to deliver these homes at scale, yet.
Of course the cost pressures and shortage of materials and labour is affecting everyone. The good news is there’s lots of new, institutional money coming into the sector, much of it driven by the ESG agenda. Partnerships and affordable housing can answer this demand, and the availability of funding is helping to expand the market. We’re also seeing that MMC is a growing part of the solution to meet some of the supply side challenges.