Brick numbers building

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show domestic brick manufacturing continuing to rise steadily further, easing any concerns over product shortages.

Production numbers for February show a 2.8% rise over the same month in 2018, with the quarterly production numbers up 6%.

The Brick Development Association’s (BDA) Tom Farmer observed: “The last calendar year has seen the brick industry ploughing millions into manufacturing production and we see the results in a steadily increasing output.

“We know that our members are taking a long-term view of UK housing and are investing with confidence that the demand for new homes continues to outstrip supply by a considerable margin. There is only one way out of that situation and that’s to build more houses.

“We are confident that current and future governments will continue to view housing as a top priority in domestic politics and our manufacturers are working to ensure that brick availability will not be an issue.”

The BDA’s upbeat assessment of future housing demand is bullish given a flatlining in new housebuilding. Figures from the Ministry of Housing for the last quarter of 2018 show housing starts down 2% on the same period a year before with NHBC figures for February showing an even more marked 7% decrease in registrations over February 2018.

“There is no doubt that political uncertainty is affecting private sector activity” continued Farmer. “However, the market for affordable homes remains strong and we anticipate that once some degree of political clarity returns, we will see renewed energy in the housing sector.”