Why construction can be the industry to save us in this recession

It’s fair to say 2020 hasn’t been the year anyone expected. With a global pandemic altering how we go about our daily lives, from the enforcement of masks to working from home, 2020 will not be a year we will easily forget, although we probably want to.

As we continue on the rollercoaster caused by the virus, like many countries around the world we now face the dreaded term which has not been muttered since 2008 – recession. It was inevitable in the face of lockdown, with a wide number of industries forced to completely cease trading for long periods of time. Nevertheless, with recessions comes huge job losses and financial insecurity for nearly everyone in one way or another, so there’s sound and valid reasoning behind the fear.

Us, like many other businesses, are of course concerned and wary of what the next 12 months may bring. This recession, if anything, is even more daunting with COVID restrictions constantly being altered, affecting businesses just as they start to pick up again. However, despite the fear and uncertainty this recession brings, we at Westcountry Land & Homes hope that this recession can be over soon and the economy can return to the growth we were seeing pre- COVID.

How?

We think the construction industry will play a huge part in the economy’s revival.

Construction provides one of the largest contributions to GDP in this country and whilst many industries such as retail, tourism and aviation have faced colossal financial impacts as a result of COVID, construction has been able to get back on its feet quite quickly. Therefore, it’s able to continue contributing to the economy and GDP and can take-up some of the impact that has devastated other sectors, creating jobs and opportunities.

It is clear from recent government policies and rhetoric that those at the top are seeing the crucial role construction can play and are encouraging the private sector to deliver by announcing things like planning reform in June, full approval to go ahead with HS2, stamp duty holiday and a revision to planning use classes. All of this is collectively working together to get the construction and property industry building as much as possible and as easily as possible, whilst also encouraging consumers to get back into the property market.

Another fundamental consideration is creating new stock to meet the increased demand generated by the property rental market. Satisfying demand was a problem pre-COVID and with more and more people now renting due to the COVID pandemic demand for rental stock is only set to increase significantly. If the construction industry builds more homes for private rental schemes, not only does this help solve the renting problem and increase contribution to GDP, but it also allows for a creation in jobs regarding maintenance and management.

Recessions are destructive, but sadly, with the pandemic, this one was inevitable – whilst everyone was in lock-down, the economy stalled. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel – nothing lasts forever and with the help of the construction and property industry, we truly believe the impact of this recession can be minimised and we can start to rebuild our economy.