Housing slump hits brickies

Grant Prior 7 months ago
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Construction payroll giant Hudson Contract is reporting an 11% fall in the number of payments made to tradespeople by brickwork contractors in October 2023 compared to the same month last year.

But average pay rates for brickies are still increasing as contractors keep on experienced workers at the expense of trainees.

Ian Anfield, managing director of Hudson Contract, said: “Average rates have increased in a slowing market because the most productive and highly skilled people are kept on while the younger improvers are let go.

“We saw the same thing happen following the financial crisis of 2008, its like history repeating itself. If contractors let people go and materials suppliers cut back on production, it will take a long time for the industry to recover.

“If it is official policy to slow down the housing market with high interest rates to control inflation, have the policymakers considered how difficult it is to speed it up again?

“Trying to control the housing market is like trying to turn an oil tanker against the tide. At first it seems like nothing is happening but then there’s no stopping it.

“If young people who are still learning their trade leave the industry, it will be very difficult to get them back and if materials production lines are mothballed and merchants closed, costs and inflation will simply bounce back to the levels that caused the intervention in the first place due to labour and material shortages.”

The latest pay trends show record weekly earnings for self-employed tradespeople in Wales (up 2.7 per cent to £1,041) and the South East (up 4.8 per cent to £1,074).

Latest subcontractor pay trends in October 2023

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