Housing shortage nothing to do with brick levels, say brickmakers
The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) have claimed that the ‘stutter’ in numbers of new homes completed in the last quarter is the fault of an acute brick shortage.
The latest numbers, from a report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, indicate that the number of houses completed has dropped in the last quarter, meaning that the UK could not meet the “growing demand to plug the 264,000 housing deficit.”
The NAEA added that Brexit would “worsen the issue”, because much of the material needed to create bricks is imported from the EU.
However, the Brick Development Association (BDA) have hit back at these claims. Cheif executive of the BDA, Andrew Eagles, said, “This is a lazy analysis. The BDA represents 99pc of the brick manufacturers in the UK. We can report with absolute authority that there is no shortage.”
Figures from the Office for National Statistics do indeed support this, indicating that brick production has actually increased recently. In the second quarter this year, sales of bricks were 10.4pc higher than in the first quarter, and stocks of bricks are 39.9pc higher than in the same period last year.
Meanwhile, new figures from the ONS revealed that the number of new homes completed in the second quarter was 2pc lower than in the same period last year.
The brick indsutry did suffer following the 2008 credit crunch, as house building slowed to a crawl, but it has staged a recovery since then.
The CEBR said: “The report looks at the building shortfall (the difference between the increase in households and dwelling stock) that has accumulated over the past decade and estimates the number of bricks that are needed to rectify this shortage at 1.4 billion bricks.” It added that according to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial strategy, the stock of bricks currently stands at 628 million.
Mr Eagles said: “The kilns are fired up across the UK and the BDA looks forward to making their contribution to addressing the chronic housing shortage that has built up over recent decades.”