House builders scale back 2008 plans


The House Builders’ Federation (HBF) has reported that its members are now responding to a softening in demand for new homes that became evident during the second half of 2007.

The trade association refers to house builders scaling back their plans in light of a slowdown in housing market activity.

However, John Slaughter, head of external affairs at the HBF, is keen to point out that demand is not the only factor in relation to new housing, stating: “There is also an issue about land and site availability. We’re aware that for quite some time the number of sites that the industry has at its disposal to build on has been falling.”

Following an analysis of Government data, the HBF states that the amount of land going through the planning system has been in decline since the 1990s.

The system is currently undergoing reform, to enable the Government to meet its ambitious target of two million new homes by 2016 but changes in planning law are unlikely to impact on the sale of new homes in the year ahead.

The credit squeeze has prompted many prospective buyers to delay their plans and despite two cuts in the base rate since December of last year, the UK property market is expected to undergo a significant correction during 2008.

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