So another year draws to a close……
…..And what a bumper one for house builders. The market continued to fly and house prices increased by over 10% for the year, largely driven through a lack of supply in both the new and second hand market.
Many house builders told me they are between six and nine months forward sold. In fact, many sales departments have very little to sell as global supply chain issues have limited the supply of building materials and therefore the rate of production. Coupled with many mortgage lenders having a six month expiration on their offers buyers are unable to commit on completion dates so far into the future.
So how will these conditions alter as we enter 2022?
The consensus amongst key market forecasters such as Savills and Rightmove is a continuation of property price growth albeit at a slower rate than this year. Expect an annual increase of around 3-5% across the UK, although it’s worth noting that the Midlands and North of England will be key drivers in that figure as London’s price growth will lag behind at around 1.5%.
The potential slowdown in price growth is attributed to an increase in supply in both the new and second hand market. Agents are reporting an uptick in requests for valuations and there is an expectation that building material shortages will ease for new builds.
How will this impact staffing in our sector in 2022?
The first half of this year saw a phenomenal bounce back of demand for staff following a flat 2020. Competition for all levels of staff was intense leading to strong offers and fierce counter offers by current employers to retain staff.
This eased in the second half as some house builders paused to assess the impact of the end of the stamp duty holiday on sales but has regained impetus over the past couple of months.
For 2022 I expect very strong demand for the very best candidates in house building. Likely to have enjoyed pay rises and healthy bonuses this year they will be hard to tempt away so any employment proposition will need to be very compelling, both financially and in terms of flexible working. The alternative will be settling for average in terms of skills and capability.
I am expecting quite a divide between those firms whose approach to recruitment is match fit and those who are limited by pre-pandemic thinking. The impact of those recruitment decisions will be far reaching if a company’s people really are it’s greatest asset.
Thanks for reading. Have a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.