It’s good to hear from director of the Modern Masonry Alliance, Mike Leonard, that the new build housing market has started reasonably well in 2011.
He says this is a result of private developers targeting the family home market where funding is more available.
The first-time buyers’ sector has proved more difficult with most lenders requiring a 20% deposit although most major builders have taken advantage of the funding announced in the budget to offer assisted first-time buyers schemes.
Mike believes that the private sector may weaken as a result of continued restrictions on lending and a fall in consumer confidence but we may not see the effect of this in the short term. The missing factor is the smaller developers who are being largely excluded from the market due to lack of bank lending in the sector.
The public sector has also started reasonably well as registered social landlords use up the various funding streams still available. As the year progresses demand from this sector will fall steeply as the effect is felt of a 40% cut in the budget for new social housing.
While the one-off registration of the Olympic Village housing has distorted the early numbers, Mike Leonard says he remains confident that starts will remain static compared to 2010/11 with an overall market of circa 105,000 homes for the year ending March 2012.
Thanks Mike for a glimmer of light at the end of the new housing tunnel.
You can get updates on the state of the masonry market at www.masonryfirst.com