Housebuilders maintain ‘red-hot’ pace on first year of Help to Buy


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The Independent Online

Britain’s “red-hot” housebuilders marked a year of growth as the revival sparked by the Government’s Help to Buy scheme continued in April.

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (Cips) said the pace of expansion in housebuilding was close to the fastest for a decade – driven by the initiative to get first-time buyers on to the property ladder, which marked its first anniversary last month.

Signs that builders are stepping up work to meet the demand will come as a relief for the sector, with the Bank of England expressing increasing disquiet over property prices.

The Bank’s deputy Governor, Sir Jon Cunliffe, said that the growing momentum in the housing market was the “brightest [warning] light” on the Bank’s financial stability “dashboard”.

The overall pace of industry expansion slowed in April as the Cips purchasing managers’ index – where a score over 50 indicates growth – fell from 62.5 to 60.8. Cips’ chief executive, David Noble, put this down to easing flood-defence work among civil engineers.

“The construction sector is still experiencing a remarkably strong and consistent period of expansion,” he added.

Berenberg bank’s chief economist, Rob Wood, said: “Construction remained in red-hot territory in April.”