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Construction output falls 11/08/2016

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that construction output in June 2016 fell by 0.9% compared to May 2016. It is estimated to have decreased by 1.4% between Quarter 2 2015 and Quarter 2 2016.


Read Construction output in Great Britain: June 2016 and Apr to June 2016


These figures cover the second quarter of 2016 plus the calendar month of June 2016 and include data for a short period after the EU Referendum.


Although it's too early to say whether the outcome of the EU Referendum and Britain's exit from the EU will have a significant impact on new housebuilding, if the government is to achieve its target of one million new homes by 2020, it's vital that confidence in the construction industry is maintained and we argue that there is a case for increased public investment in social housing.


In our letter to new Housing Minister, Gavin Barwell, we highlight that since the Referendum there has been renewed uncertainty in the housing market. Share prices in the construction sector have fallen and there is some evidence that developers and construction companies have become more cautious about investing.


We argue that the government must take early action to restore confidence and forestall the risk of a construction slowdown. This we said ought to include a boost to public investment in housing and a rebalancing of investment priorities away from the current, almost-exclusive, focus on homes for sale to a more balanced mix including homes for sale, shared ownership, market and social rent according to local needs.


ARCH chief executive, John Bibby, has also been talking to the Local Government Association (LGA) and the National Federation of ALMOs (NFA) regarding the possibility of commissioning independent research to evaluate the case for investment in social housing in light of the governments plans to "reset" economic policy following Brexit.

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