This site uses cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies

I understand

Economic Forecasting Unit: Christmas Review

Every year the office holds a competition to see who will have to write the annual review article. This year I lost, so here it is.
The budget is due to be published this week and you will be reading this article in its aftermath. Leaks at the time of writing indicate that money will be available for housing, figures of £5 to £10 billion of aid have been suggested. In addition Housing Association balance sheets have been transformed through the magic of accountancy and the government moving a goal post slightly. This in effect will allow Housing Associations to fund possibly another £10 to 20 billion for affordable housing. In addition Councils will be allowed to initiate plans to develop housing either on their own or in conjunction with established builders. Finally, the Prime Minister has personally taken it upon herself to lead the charge in driving this matter forward.
All of the above points are very admirable and from our perspective lets hope these initiatives work. The concerns that are widely reported do need to be addressed, a brief overview follows.
The first is that there is already a  skills shortage in many parts of the construction industry (except of course for 'Green deal' officials.) If a traditional apprenticeship was to be the method of training large numbers of people then even if we start tomorrow it is several years before these individuals can work on their own recognisance, assuming enough tutors are available to handle the surge in training. Also, the European workers that are currently filling the skills shortage could well be considering returning to mainland Europe after March 2019, which could prove to be a setback to the anticipated building surge. Planning restrictions, public reviews and inflation are some of the further factors that will also have an effect on this project.
The big eight builders control the majority of present building sites in the UK. Further, their land banks stretch a minimum of five years into the future. A good deal of thought is going to have to go into seeing how to either liberate these tightly controlled assets or large amounts of additional land will need to be released for building. The point at which land gains planning permission for residential development is at present the golden part of the cycle and due to the sums involved will need careful monitoring.   
A further point worth considering is that a housing boom needs to be near the area people work and also flexibility or rather ease of mobility must also be taken into consideration. If first time buyers housing initiatives are restrictive or only worthwhile after a number of years, this could greatly affect a persons ability to be mobile. 
Finally, there is a concern that the government needs to prepare for the next recession. The traditional method of easing out of recession is to lower interest rates. So standard logic dictates that current interest rates must increase over the next 15 months to a level that would allow scope for step reductions to ease the effects of a recession or slow down due to Brexit or other as yet unforeseen economic downturn.  
I dearly hope the initiatives succeed but as with most things that are championed by successive governments the result is usually somewhat less than the headline.
Richard Tate






Latest Industry News

More News 

Bespoke Rooflights Enhance London Home

Located in a West London conservation area, the existing property required updating by remodelling the kitchen and dining room that suffered poor connection to the rear garden. 

MASCO UKWG CEO Wayne Devine steps down after 28 years

Wayne Devine, a well-known industry stalwart, has announced his decision to step down after 28 years as CEO of the MASCO UK Window Group. 

Lock Lock Showreel - Don’t Meet Your Burglar

The latest compelling video from Lock Lock, shows that in less than 10 seconds an intruder can gain entry into a home with only a 1 Star cylinder.

Record Start for Conservatory Outlet Group

The Conservatory Outlet Group has experienced a hugely positive start to 2018, with both its retail businesses hitting record sales orders throughout January.

New GreenteQ Hinge For Composite Doors

VBH (GB) has added a new composite door hinge to its greenteQ range.  The new Sigma Face-Fix Composite Door Hinge comes in standard or 1D-adjustable versions and is available in five colours t... 

Solidor Is On A High With Cloud 2.0

Solidor have just launched Cloud 2.0, which offers their trade partners a newly enhanced online experience, far beyond that of typical online ordering, to include live pricing, an online payment fu... 

Fab Frames To Take Solidor Manufacturing To A New Level

South-Devon based Fab Frames are looking to further develop sales of their manufactured Solidor, with the introduction of a new dedicated unit for composite door manufacturing. 

Aluminium With A Difference

The perfect window for adding a contemporary finish to any home, Ecotherm 70HI offers super-slim sightlines and impressive thermal and security benefits.

5 Beads, 3 Systems And Shared Profiles For The Residence Collection

The Residence Collection are experiencing an increase in trade enquiries, thanks in no small part to the integrated nature of the profiles and glazing beads, along with product availability in sing... 

Stylish And Contemporary Integrated Blinds From Betweenglassblinds

Both stylish and contemporary in appearance, the advantage of having your blinds incorporated into your sealed units is that they don’t require the constant dusting and maintenance associated wit... 

Press Office Presence For Solidor Customers

As part of their new Network Development Programme for 2018, Solidor have just launched a revolutionary Press Office for their installer partners, to enable them to generate strong press coverage o... 

Sun Trade Introduce The Innovative Yale Conexis Keyless Locking System.

Trade fabricator Sun Trade Windows have taken home security hardware to the next generation with the launch of the new innovative Conexis Keyless Locking System from Yale.

Morley Introduces SL16 Slimline Blinds

Morley Glass & Glazing has once again enhanced its product offer with the introduction of a new slimline ScreenLine® integral blind system.

When Is A Liniar Window Not A Liniar Window…?

… sounds like the start of a joke, doesn’t it? But with the potential for disaster if products aren’t fully tested and approved, it’s no laughing matter.

2018 Looks Bright For VEKA, With £5m Forecast

2018 looks bright for VEKA, with £5M forecast in the face of a relatively flat market, VEKA Group knows that investment is the best way to support customers and stay at the forefront of the indust... 

Choose Your Window Widgets Superhero!

Window Widgets have just launched a campaign to encourage fabricators and installers to look at the various everyday superheroes from within their expansive range of  PVCu window and door syst... 

Bohle launches Skyforce

Bohle has added the highly innovative Skyforce Juliet balcony to its range, generating a new sales platform for glass processors, window and door fabricators – and installers. 

Prefix Marketing Now In Print

With an impressive array of brochures, flyers, samples and point of sale materials, Prefix Systems have now put together a 20-page brochure to highlight the expansive range of marketing materials a... 

On the road: VEKA adds four vans to TSE fleet

VEKA Group has added four vans to its Technical department as part of an ongoing investment initiative. 

Only Lock Lock Carries The Sold Secure Standard

Lock Lock  is now the only security door handle with the coveted Sold Secure certification, that’s issued by the Master Locksmiths Association (MLA).

New CPD Seminar: The Critical Role Of Fire Doors In Care Homes

Fire doors are an important life-saving feature of any building, but in a care home or supported living site they give residents and staff vital protection in the event of a fire. 

New Slate Tile For Celsius Solid Roof

Now installers can deliver an authentic looking slate finish on Celsius Solid Roof installations with a new slate-effect tile, made from 100% recycled, lightweight plastic.

greenteQ Invisifold At Fensterbau Frontale

VBH, one of the largest hardware distributors in Europe, will have products on several stands at Fensterbau in Germany. 

Morley Glass & Glazing Marks 20th Anniversary With Record Growth

2018 marks the 20th anniversary of Morley Glass & Glazing, which is reporting 30% year-on-year growth over the last 12 months.

£5,000 For 5,000 Hours To GM Fundraising

Brisant Secure have donated £5,000 to GM Fundraising, to celebrate the revolutionary Lock Lock door security handle surpassing an unprecedented 5,000 hour salt spray test.

SWISSPACER To Exhibit At Fensterbau

SWISSPACER will be exhibiting on Stand 214, Hall 7a at Fensterbau Frontale, Nuremberg, this March. 

Showcasing Solidor Showrooms Of The Month

As part of the new Network Development Programme, Solidor have launched a new ‘Showroom of the Month’ initiative that’s designed to reward trade partners who have created an outstanding sales... 

Distinction Doors’ showroom support package raises the bar

Distinction Doors continues to raise the bar in the products it offers and the support it provides. 

Haffner Murat machinery package transforms heritage product fabrication

One of the biggest growth areas predicted in the next few years is in heritage products, in particular mechanically jointed options. 

Aluplast Lift-and-Slide to take centre-stage at Fensterbau.

Aluplast will showcase its highly innovative and ultra-thermally efficient Lift-and-Slide Patio door, at Fensterbau 21 - 24 March Nuremberg, Germany.

Three cheers for VEKA nominations

VEKA Group has been shortlisted for three major accolades in the prestigious Red Rose Awards, hosted by Lancashire Business View.

DW3 Products Group Acquired By Masonite International

Masonite International Corporation have completed the acquisition of DW3 Products Group Ltd and its subsidiaries, on January 29th 2018 for an undisclosed sum.

The Residence Collection Announces New Start-Up Package

From as little as £18,000, fabricators can now look to offer The Residence Collection as an additional PVCu system, albeit this is an integrated suite of three window and door systems. 

VEKA to Build Europe's Most Advanced PVC-U Recycling Plant In UK

VEKA Recycling Ltd has chosen Wellingborough for the location of what will be Europe’s most advanced facility dedicated to recycling PVC-U window and door profiles. 

Bluemanor Celebrate A Decade With Prefix

Bluemanor Windows are celebrating their 10th anniversary in business with key partner, Prefix Systems and over this period have become one of the most successful and highly regarded installation co... 

AluFoldDirect Named Triple Finalist in Regional Awards

AluFoldDirect has been named a triple finalist in the Red Rose Business Awards. 

Choosing Glass For Overhead Glazing

With the myriad of glass types available now, it is often confusing what to choose in terms of safety, thermal and solar performance and balancing cost with the benefits on offer.

Trojan Group’s TS008 Unicorn Letterplate compliant with PAS24:2016

The Trojan Group’s TS008 Unicorn Letterplate remains one of the few letterplates on the market that complies with PAS24:2016

Independent Network says there’s never been a better time to join

With big changes happening at the organisation, can you afford not to be IN?

Masterframe celebrates top industry award for PVC-U products

Masterframe was named ‘Timber Alternative Window Company 2017’ in December’s National Fenestration Awards.

Distinction Doors’ marketing package and Skin Book reflects its status as a mark...

When you take a look at the marketing support that Distinction Doors offer, you quickly realise it offers the same level of market-leading quality and innovation as its doors.

Launch Of Corgi Fenestration Installer Scheme With Self-Certification

The CORGI Fenestration Installer Scheme is here.  It combines the CORGI Fenestration quality mark with notifications across windows, doors and other fenestration products, including self-certi... 

VBH adds new Glazpart trickle vents to range

VBH adds to its growing range of high performance hardware with the Link Vent Mk2 - a next-generation trickle vent from Glazpart.

New Warmroof Brochure Portfolio From Prefix

Prefix Systems have just launched an impressive new collection of brochures for their WARMroof system, which includes a 20-page consumer brochure, 20-page product guide and a new 16-page guide to B... 

New Tradelink Windowcenter Opens in Stoke-on-Trent

World-class manufacturer Tradelink Window Solutions has opened a new manufacturing facility and Windowcenter in Stoke-on-Trent. 

Join Frame Fast 4 Fitters For Fast Lead Times and Support For Your Business

Midland trade fabricator, Frame Fast UK, is helping installers to stand out against the competition with its new Frame Fast 4 Fitters support. 

Spring Review: Interframe S.W.LTD

I wrote several years ago about how "Zombie Firms" would begin to go into liquidation once interest rates started to increase as they wouldn't be able to service their loans or service their credit... 

Letter to the editor

We must not talk markets down because of an inherent fear of change. With change comes opportunity and the key is spotting the right opportunities: this means finding the right products, for the ri... 

New business Development Manager

HOPPE (UK) has appointed Garrath Willshaw as business development manager for the North of England.

More Products, More Info And Quicker Navigation With New Mighton Hardware And Ma...

Choosing and using Mighton products has been made easier than ever with two new, product-dedicated catalogues with extended ranges and quick-navigation format.

Copyright © 2014. Vision Publications Ltd All Rights Reserved.