Andrew Hayward, Managing Director of Russell Roof Tiles, says Covid and Brexit will continue to have an impact with regards to both supply and pricing in 2021, but there are still opportunities in the market.
The main challenge for our industry is what the supply chain will look like after Brexit. In 2021 products will be available and deals will be done even if cost price points in some commodities move; this always happens irrespective of Brexit.
Only time will tell how increased costs will be passed down the supply chain, but it is highly likely given many companies are working on minimal margins. The major concern in our industry is the initial changeover and how products are allowed to and how fast they move through ports – therefore increasing stocks of certain products up to three months would be prudent.
Current estimates suggest prices in the main could rise by up to 10% when the dust has settled due to increases, delays, taxes, material switches that affect cost points currently.
We have prepared for a number of scenarios including resource, expansion, alternative supply and stock holding, and we are well placed to meet demand, though obviously we cannot be fully protected.
The demand for construction is as strong as ever. There continues to be a huge demand for social housing – over 1.1m people on the waiting list according to the last report – but despite the Government’s campaign to “Get Britain Building”, local authorities remain strapped for cash so need extra support to work with housing associations to deliver much needed homes.
In terms of private housing there is still uncertainly over mortgage availability as well as some of the short term measures the chancellor launched in response to Covid-19. For example, the Stamp Duty holiday came into force and is due to remain until March 31st, 2021. But will the Stamp Duty holiday be extended? This would certainly continue to help an uncertain property market. In addition, Help to Buy closes this month and itssuccessor, which has regional caps and is limited to first-time buyers, only starts accepting applications from 16 December – this comes with its own challenges.
2021 will be another rollercoaster year until Covid/Brexit become more settled into what will be the new norm, but the ongoing demand for new homes either private or social will not abate, providing we have the financial resources to deliver them.