A National Association of Estate Agents report has been roundly dismissed as being “out of date and unhelpful” in blaming a shortage of bricks as being one of the chief reasons behind Britain’s housing crisis.
The NAEA report - which was written by the Centre for Economics & Business `research and which we carried yesterday - said a shortage of bricks has been a contributing factor in rising house prices over the past decade, suggesting there may be a shortfall equivalent to 1.4 billion bricks.
However, this has provoked an angry response from the Brick Development Association, which represents UK brick manufacturers. It says the data used in the report dated back to April 2015 and is 15 months out of date, misleading and damaging.
“This is a lazy analysis. The BDA represents 99 per cent of the brick manufacturers in the UK. We can report with absolute authority that there is no shortage. There has been a significant increase in brick production over the last 15 months and this is confirmed by the Office for National Statistics” says Andrew Eagles, chief executive of the BDA.
“I find it astonishing that the CEBR felt it useful to release a report that was so out of date” he says, adding that: “The challenges the brick industry faced in 2014 when there was a dramatic increase in housebuilding are now behind us and the industry is confident it can meet the growing demand for its products in housing and other construction projects.”
His organisation says in the second quarter of 2016, brick deliveries were 10.4 per cent higher than in the first quarter. The deliveries in June were also 7.4 per cent higher than the figure predicted in May.
“Notably, these results correlate with recent positive news in the housebuilding industry” says a BDA statement. “41,222 new homes were built in the UK in Q2, which is a one per cent increase on the same period in 2015. Most importantly, this is also the highest number of houses built since Q4 of 2007.”
The NAEA has issued a statement saying that CEBR stands by its report and its use of figures.