Majority of smaller builders yet to see any Brexit blip

6 September 2016

Two thirds of SME house builders are yet to see any significant changes to their project pipelines in the wake of Brexit, new research from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has revealed.

The survey - the first to be conducted among SME house builders since the EU referendum - found 69% of firms are yet to see any changes to their businesses resulting from the referendum.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said government ministers would be bolstered by the news as SME builders were crucial to achieving the government’s ambition to build one million homes by 2020.

“Despite some fears that the referendum result might put new projects on hold, the overwhelming majority of SME house builders are reporting that no decisions have yet been influenced by the referendum result,” said Mr Berry.

“This matches the view expressed by many small construction firms that so far, that the market appears to suggest that it’s ‘business as usual’.

“Only one quarter of small house builders 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.”

But Mr Berry said 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 house builders state that the removal of unnecessary red tape should be the most important consideration for the new government as it begins to negotiate the UK’s exit from the EU.”