“There are five times fewer small scale developers today than in the last housebuilding boom and not a single one of today’s top ten housebuilders was created before 1990. There is a clear monopoly in the sector,” clarified LendInvest Co-Founder & CEO Christian Faes. “What was clear from our discussion is that more must be done to level the playing field for property entrepreneurs so that they can do business with confidence. This means sweeping away barriers to finance and land for SMEs, as well as celebrating industry initiatives to improve skills in the sector. The cost of doing business must also be reduced.”
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Co-hosted with the political journal Prospect and joined by MPs Chris Philp, Mary Robinson, Peter Aldous, Richard Bacon, and former Deputy Mayor of Housing Richard Blakeway, this week LendInvest led a conversation with government and industry at Conservative Party Conference, proposing a package of support for SME property businesses to scale up and deliver more homes across the country.
“Politicians talk often about building more homes as if it were politicians who build them. Let’s stop focusing on targets and let the builders get on with it,” stated MP Richard Bacon. “The government’s role is to remove barriers, not add to them.”
The discussion built on the recommendations of our report earlier this year, which called on government to equalise incentives to start SMEs in the property sector with the support offered to businesses in other sectors, according to the LendInvest blog: “Participants agreed that to solve the housing crisis, a number of policy interventions must be made to improve the availability of finance to SMEs, provide greater access to land, upskill the sector and drive down the cost of doing business.”
“At a time where the government maintains ambitious housing delivery targets, we are seeing a generational loss of smaller house builders,” added Andy Davis, Associate Editor at Prospect Magazine. “If we are to see SMEs succeed and scale, we must challenge the regulatory system that is geared towards mass volume housebuilders and ensure that property entrepreneurs can access the finance they need for their schemes to take off.”