Property software supplier VTUK is the latest to warn that a Brexit could have a damaging effect on the supply of homes.
The firm has researched the impact a Brexit would have and warns that the UK construction industry in particular would be hit with a shortage of skilled migrant labour if Britain quits the EU.
“With reducing migration as a de facto aim of the ‘out’ campaign, this is clearly bad for house building” insists Peter Grant, managing director of VTUK.
“But perhaps more worrying is the effect of currency devaluation and hence inflation, that will lead to interest rate rises. A minimum three per cent rate increase, that looks necessary, will have an apolcalyptic effect on home owners”
VTUK is today hosting a Twitter debate on the issue at 1pm. It is urging property professionals to express their opinion - Remain or Leave - and join in the debate using the hashtag #QuestionTribe. The debate will take place here.
The debate comes as housing minister Brandon Lewis writes in Inside Housing magazine that a Leave vote would threaten any chance of the government achieving its housebuilding targets in the UK.
“Quitting the EU would inevitably cause investor uncertainty, which will at least slow, if not stall, the investment we need to keep building the houses we need. Without overseas investment, remember, many of our key developments - especially in London - just won’t happen. And that includes those plans for affordable homes, which are financed by those more expensive properties” explains Lewis.
“The worry about possible Brexit is clear with any builder I speak to in my role as housing minister. The property industry, looking to invest, and British towns and cities, promoting their land to international investors - all are concerned about the impact of the UK leaving the EU” he continues.
Lewis says that the government is working hard to fill the skills gap in the construction industry, including a substantial expansion of the apprenticeship programme. To go further, the country must have access to the skilled labour market that EU membership makes available.
“Leaving would also have an impact on our supply-line export companies: three million people are involved in such activities. And it could disrupt the imports of the supplies needed for building, from bricks to modular build models. Falling investment will mean they are delaying the development of the advanced construction techniques which will increase the speed of build-out” Lewis adds.