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Business as usual for SME house builders

FMB says, two thirds of SME hous builders are yet to see significant changes to their project pipelines post Brexit

Research from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has revealed that 69% of firms are yet to see any changes to their businesses resulting from the EU referendum.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “SME housebuilders are crucial to achieving the government’s ambition to build one million homes by 2020, so ministers will no doubt be bolstered by these initial post-Brexit findings.

“Despite some fears that the referendum result might put new projects on hold, the overwhelming majority of SME housebuilders are reporting that no decisions have yet been influenced by the referendum result. This matches the view expressed by many small construction firms that so far, the market appears to suggest that it’s ‘business as usual’. Only one quarter of small housebuilders have seen any negative effect on their projects from the Brexit decision, and most of these are the result of delayed decisions rather than actual project cancellations.”

Berry added: “Brexit aside, we should not paint an overly rosy picture of the situation facing SME housebuilders. The barriers to building that existed prior to the referendum are still hindering delivery, and as the housing crisis continues to be a pressing concern, the need to empower smaller developers must be a priority for Theresa May’s government. To this end, it’s worth noting that more than half of SME housebuilders state that the removal of unnecessary red tape should be the most important consideration for the new government as they begin to negotiate the UK’s exit from the EU.”