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Barometer June 2023: Is a slump in the housebuilding sector having a domino effect?

All statistics are based on those surveyed and compare June 2023 to June 2022, with the exception of confidence; confidence is compared at the time of survey (August 2023) to the same time last year.

The housebuilding sector has had a tough year so far, if Marshall’s half-year results are anything to go by. The building products supplier reported a 30% drop in its profit before tax for the first half of this year, compared to the same period in 2022, leading to it taking “decisive action” to save £9m a year.

CEO Martyn Coffey blamed tough market conditions being “challenging” and announced that Marshalls had to axe around 250 jobs as a result.

Commercial landscapers are also feeling the pinch; 60% are less confident this month than the same time last year. One commented: “Housebuilders are not selling well at present, so [they’re] being a bit careful [with] their money.”

Developer Taylor Wimpey, for instance, saw its profits plummet by a quarter as fewer houses are being purchased; its pre-tax profit dropped from £334.5m to a considerably lower £237.7m.

“Clients [are] tendering projects two to three years ahead, so whilst the pipeline is encouraging, there is some nervousness over the long-term order book. The time taken and resources required to close out the post-tender period and secure projects is extending,” says another commercial landscaper.

Marshalls has hope, though. Coffey said the supplier has ensured that its manufacturing network is still able to respond, and quickly, to higher volumes “when there is an improvement in market conditions”.

Across all sectors in the Barometer, confidence is largely unchanged this month; 55% said that they feel the same confidence as last month, with only 20% feeling more confident.

Read the full report here.

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