Think small, build big


There has been a catastrophic decline in the size of England’s SME housebuilding sector. This is not the case in Germany, where the SME sector dominates the housebuilding market. We diagnose a ‘toxic triangle’ of problems facing English SME builders, with mutually reinforcing problems stemming from the planning system, the land market, and insufficient access to finance. Drawing on experience from Germany, we recommend to government a seven-point plan to give England the greatest prospect of revitalising its SME building sector, thus making a substantially greater contribution to housing output.

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