High sales, low completions

High sales, low completions


Two headlines caught my eye this morning. One was from Rightmove, who report this July they saw the highest number of sales agreed in a month since they started tracking this data over ten years ago, up by 20% on the previous high, and with a record total value of over £37 billion.

This stands in stark contrast to the supply side of the housing equation. Volume housing builder Persimmon reporting just yesterday that completions were down 35%, from 7,584 to 4,900, for the first half of the year. This aligns closely with the indications CPA has had from contractors that on site productivity fell by 30%-40% as a result of SOP during this period, as well as the ONS construction output data for April to June.

There is some relief from CPA’s report that the easing of social distancing restrictions has meant productivity on many sites was often only 10-15% lower than pre-COVID-19 in July. However, this still means some ~10,000 fewer new build homes will be completed in the second half of 2020, if this rate holds true against last years figures.

Aside from pointing out a growing imbalance between supply and demand, I’m going to withhold any wry assumptions about how this will affect the market in coming months and years. Many factors could influence the outcome, not least a second wave of COVID-19, or enthusiastic Government intervention.

Instead, on a more local front, I would like to remind everyone that there is just six days left till our design competition, Conversations about Climate Change, draws to a close. Please make sure you share this competition with all who you think may be interested.

Secondly, for our members, a reminder about branding guidelines. Recently we’ve seen some members using our old logo to promote their business and membership as Timber you can Trust. Please if you are using our old logo, reach out to us for help and we will provide you a high quality version.


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