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The housebuilding industry in England and Wales is now worth £38bn a year, supporting nearly 700,000 jobs, according to a new report by planning and development consultancy Lichfields.

Commissioned by the Home Builders Federation (HBF), the research – ‘The Economic Footprint of House building in England and Wales’ – confirms that housebuilding activity contributes economically in different ways including providing jobs, tax revenues and creating funding for local infrastructure and communities.

Lichfields' report reveals that last year the housebuilding industry:
  • Supported 698,000 jobs, including 239,000 direct (18% of UK construction industry)
  • Generated £2.7bn in tax revenues (via for example stamp duty and corporation tax)
  • Provided £841m towards infrastructure 
  • Spent £11.7bn with suppliers (90% of which remains in the UK)
  • Invested £12bn in land for new homes
  • Agreed 50,000 affordable houses through section106 agreements worth more than £4bn
HBF said Lichfields' report demonstrated the impact significant hikes in supply have had on the UK economy, with housebuilding activity increasing 74% over the past four years.

Since Lichfields’ last Economic Footprint report for HBF in 2015, the economic activity housebuilding has generated has around doubled, from £19bn to £38bn, HBF said.

Lichfields' research shows that the government’s target of 300,000 homes a year in England would yield an additional £14.2bn in economic activity, 260,000 jobs and £1.1bn in tax revenue.

Industry is now calling upon the government to “continue to improve the policy framework that has allowed output to grow in recent years,” HBF said.