Nearly two-thirds of SME house builders have seen fall in growth projections due to Covid-19, reveals survey

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23rd October 2020 12:52 - Housing

Nearly two-thirds of SME house builders have seen fall in growth projections, due to Covid-19: A survey of SME house builders by the Home Builders Federation (HBF) has found that almost two-thirds (65%) have seen a fall in growth projections due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The survey in conjunction with Close Brothers Property Finance polled respondents across the UK finding that almost two-fifths (39%) of those who reported a fall in projections are down 10 -50%, while more than a quarter (26%) said they have seen their company's projections fall by up to 10%. 

Around three-quarters (73%) of respondents polled in the survey feel they are limited by the lack of resource at their local authority's planning department - and will face more difficulties when the stamp duty holiday comes to an end in 2021 and a new programme with regional caps is introduced to replace the current Help to Buy scheme. 

More than 8 out of 10 SMEs polled said that planning delays and getting permission are a barrier to housing development over the next year, however many respondents were not as concerned over finances, with development finance perceived as a barrier by just two-fifths (41%) - the lowest barrier given to growth. 

When asked about their ease of accessing the government's Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) funding, more than half (53%) said they had tried to access support, however, just 44% had been able to access the loan. 

Frank Pennal, CEO at Close Brothers Property Finance, said: “The threat to SME housebuilders following the Covid-19 pandemic is clear, and we now have to act to reverse the decline of this vitally important part of the housing market." 

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