An interesting article posted on the well-respected 'Construction Index' website recently highlighted the fact that the top positions of the plc housebuilders have been changing places in recent years as they deal with Coronavirus, increased costs and the ever-present challenge of developing more 'greenfield' sites to meet the demand for houses rather than flats - 'trapped in a flat with higher insurance costs, no garden and the fear of fire..' - well buy a new home on an estate in the countryside and enjoy garden, fresh air and space..'
The Construction Index analysis showed that 10 of the top twenty companies saw profits decline last year. With new blood (ex-Persimmon boss Jeff Fairburn invigorating housebuilder Avant Homes, the huge rise of the land promotion companies in the last 10 years and the changes which have already started in terms of how new homes are physically built (or should we say delivered on a truck nowadays) and it is clear that the industry is going through some interesting changes.
Watch out for the regional family firms - the Davidsons Homes and Hill Homes, the growing capacity of the 'old' Housing Associations who are now full-stream private and social developers (the Keepmoat, Catalyst, Kier and Orbit of this world) together with the growth of companies like Legal & General Homes (L&G).
It seems highly likely that if L&G make a great success of their homes business then more of the large financial institutions may follow and sooner or later some of the large US or Middle-East based capital houses will start injecting money into the sector if profits continue.
Well, until a Labour Government brings in new taxes on land sales.