“Theresa May is saying builders need to open up their land banks and develop more sites, while Berkeley is unwilling to aggressively ramp up production. With conditions in the capital starting to look more precarious, it’s easy to see why Berkeley has reservations. After all, adopting overly ambitious strategies just before the market turns has caught out many a builder over the years.
Its comments on the complexity of getting work started is a clear signal to the government that it believes the best way to move forward is not to churn through the land on its books, but to remove the red tape around the development process.
Property Week agree, saying that:
Berkeley Homes has positioned itself directly against prime minister Theresa May, by refusing to increase the number of homes it builds despite government threats to housebuilders to either build homes on their land or face planning blocks.
Sarah Gatehouse, real estate tax director at Grant Thornton, tweets that the ball is back in the PM’s court:
“Berkeley announces in trading update it won’t build more homes than forecast, citing high transaction costs, the 4.5 times income multiple limit on mortgage borrowing and prevailing economic uncertainty. What’s Theresa’s next move? #housing”