The government’s announcement that the Autumn Budget 2019 will be held on 6th November undoubtedly came as welcome news to many within the construction industry. Indeed, it’s hoped that the Budget will provide some clarity to the future of industry. However, it is vital that the ongoing political disagreements fuelled by Brexit do not overshadow proceedings.
With this in mind, Experience Invest has produced five of the main points for the Government to consider ahead of the Budget:
1. The Government fulfils its commitment to hold a Budget
According to a recent survey conducted by Experience Invest, 59% of property investors are waiting to hear the Autumn Budget before committing to major investment and financial decisions. Whilst a date has now been announced, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s failure to gather parliamentary support for his Brexit timetable has cast doubt on whether a Budget will be held. It is the hope of Experience Invest, and indeed the construction industry, that a Budget will still take place to provide some clarity for the sector and encourage investors to recommence their activities.
2. Look beyond London’s property market
London’s property market is, of course, a vital asset to the UK’s construction sector. However, government investment into infrastructure and regeneration in areas outside of London cannot be overlooked. For example, Luton, Manchester, Newcastle and Liverpool are rising in popularity amongst renters, first-time homebuyers and seasoned property investors, and new-build developments are rising to meet this demand. Indeed, property prices in these areas have been steadily increasing in recent years, further demonstrating the possibility of generous returns to be made. For this reason, it is important that investment is made to support local infrastructure and regional regeneration.
3. Encourage partnerships between local councils and developers
The government must recognise the potential of partnerships between the public and private sector, in order to ensure a consistent high quality of new build projects, from apartment complexes to purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA). Experience Invest worked closely with Cardiff Council prior to the launch of the Opto Cardiff Student development project, and understand the value of working closely with the local councils to ensure this project meets all necessary regulations and community needs. The government must do more to encourage such partnerships, otherwise construction of necessary PBSAs in university towns and cities will suffer.
4. The government must consult the experts to solve the housing crisis
The UK is still in the midst of a housing crisis. Whilst the government announced the number of new builds has reached an 11 year high, progress is still not fast enough. The government must produce a practical and efficient strategy to meet the demand for affordable housing. This can only be achieved by working closely with the construction industry to review and renew the current strategy. The government must listen to the experts, if targets are to be met.
5. Greater clarity surrounding post-Brexit visas
Similar to many businesses outside of the sector, construction companies are demanding clarity surrounding post-Brexit visas for their workforce. The costly and complex visa application processes are predicted to become a burden for developers, particularly smaller firms. The government must provide reassurance and guidance for developers to ensure all parties understand the process and are able to make adequate preparations for changes to their workforce.
For more information, download Experience Invest’s latest report – The post-Brexit investment strategies of UK property investors.