UK housebuilding nears 10-year high on Help to Buy

UK builders marked a year of growth today as the housebuilding revival sparked by the Government’s Help to Buy scheme spurred on the industry  in April.

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply said the pace of expansion in housebuilding was among the fastest seen for a decade — driven by the initiative to get first-time buyers on to the property ladder that marked its first anniversary last month.

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

Deputy Governor Sir Jon Cunliffe said last night that the growing momentum in the housing market was now 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, which CIPS chief executive David Noble put down to easing flood defence work among civil engineers.

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

Berenberg chief economist Rob Wood said: “Construction remained in red-hot territory in April. With the construction PMI still extremely strong, construction growth looks likely to post a stronger Q2 and possibly drive accelerating growth.”

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