Does the budget add up for the Construction and Real Estate Sector?

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SWOT analysis produced by MHA MacIntyre Hudson for the construction and real estate sector appears to identify funding opportunities

Comment from Brendan Sharkey, head of construction and real estate at MHA MacIntyre Hudson:

“A budget SWOT analysis for the construction and real estate sector identifies fantastic funding opportunities.  Philip Hammond has helped the sector by backing Crossrail 2 and infrastructure development.  But clearly there are threats.  Some would say putting companies on the same footing as individuals in terms of gains on commercial properties is not unreasonable – nor indeed the taxation of gains arising on foreign corporate entities holding UK commercial property.

“There are more positives, but where is the construction workforce going to come from to meet the demand?  £34m to develop construction skills seems a little tight.  Yes, T levels will help but this is a conveyor belt that has yet to roll.

“Potentially developers will be attacked for ‘land banking’ but if you don’t have the labour resources to build, that criticism seems unreasonable. Indeed, the pressure to build will mean skilled labourers can dictate financial terms. This has been prevalent for the last few years, but covered by growth in house prices.  There’s an obvious weakness without adequate skilled labour. It’s likely that house prices will continue to go up with insufficient numbers built – not because of land banking, inadequate infrastructure or lack of finances, but because there is insufficient skilled labour.”

SWOT analysis

Strengths

  • Backing Northern Power House, the Midland Engine
  • 5 new garden towns
  • Development of the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford Corridor
  • £300,000 SDLT exemption for first-time buyers

Opportunities

  • Finding £630m funding for small sites
  • £2.7bn for Housing Infrastructure Fund
  • £1.1bn to unlock strategic sites
  • £8.0bn of new guarantees to support housebuilding and the purpose built private rental sector

Weakness

  • £34m to develop construction skills – not enough

Threats

  • Withdrawal of indexation relief for capital gains on property disposals
  • Councils empowered to charge a 100% council tax premium on empty property
  • CPO if companies are deemed to be land banking
  • Homes England – set up to encourage speed of development including CPO powers – but at what value?

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