A look at Technical Manual readers planning more homes in 2023

A scan of the construction headlines of late 2022 into 2023 would make for some grim reading, we’ll admit.

Economic uncertainty, labour and materials shortages combine with inflation to pile on wider economic gloom.

But it hasn’t slowed everyone down – some areas of the building trade are planning to build more than they did in 2022.

In fact, when we asked LABC Warranty Technical Manual readers about their plans for 2023, a majority of respondents said they had plans to build more this year than last year. 


Let's take a look at who they are, and what they're building.

No room for gloom? The companies planning more homes in 2023

Open market enjoys a large presence

While it didn’t produce an outright majority, of the respondents that indicated they were building more this year, open market housing enjoy the largest segment of responses (excluding mixed developments).


Given the wider situation affecting building in the UK, this was a surprising answer to see in the results – social housing’s 18%, being more reliant on state-led funding, may have been expected to make up more of the mix given it enjoys some protection from short-term economic volatility.

Self-build and one-off homes also don’t come as a surprise as one fifth of the mix. In the former case, any self-builder committing to build a house in 2023 will usually be an infinite increase on former years – after all, how many self-builders build more than two homes in a lifetime, let alone two years in a row?

In the latter case of bespoke homes, we can also mount some explanation for a strong showing in the responses. One-off homes, whether they’re built under instruction from a buyer or built for the open market, would inherently be more resilient to economic shocks. Buyers of high-price bespoke homes are more likely to be able to weather inflation-related pressures in general. 


What about the builders planning fewer units this year?


The biggest change we see here is that open-market goes from conditionally being the largest segment to enjoying a full plurality over other categories – even the mixture of the above category.

As we mentioned earlier, there’s very little surprising about the costs of living, economic uncertainty, and materials and labour issues conspiring to affect confidence in building for the open market.

High-rise, with its significant outlay and higher costs involved, makes up a much more significant chunk of the data. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given its large up-front costs. That said, our own experts on the high-rise market in London are more buoyant about the sector’s chances for this year – read more from Julian Roper on that subject here


About the source and limitations of our data

The respondents to our poll were visitors to the LABC Warranty website that downloaded our Technical Manual between 26/01/2023, and 17/02/2023.

The largest single source of respondents was home builders and developers, followed by architects, and then splitting into smaller categories like building control and social housing providers.


Website visitors in need of technical guidance around the building of buildings are more likely to be the ones that access the latest Technical Manual.

This is an audience engaged and interested enough to get access to new information on their homes as soon as it became available – for some, this will be because they’re planning to build units affected by that latest guidance, which could have affected this data.

The intention of this data was to take a temperature check from the readers of LABC Warranty’s technical materials and see what their plans look like. If you are planning to do any building of new homes in 2023, we’d recommend you make LABC Warranty one of your first ports of call.

There’s more reflection on the results of the other questions, and more details on our data, available in this blog’s sister article here.


Questions for LABC Warranty?

If you have any questions for LABC Warranty, or have any plans for new homes this year you’d like to discuss, feel free to get in touch.

Use the details on this page to reach out, or contact your account manager directly if you’re an existing customer.

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Please Note: Every care was taken to ensure the information in this article was correct at the time of publication. Any written guidance provided does not replace the reader’s professional judgement and any construction project should comply with the relevant Building Regulations or applicable technical standards. However, for the most up to date LABC Warranty technical guidance please refer to your Risk Management Surveyor and the latest version of the LABC Warranty Technical Manual.

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