Most people are becoming tired of talking and thinking about Brexit. However, if you are planning any home improvements in the near future, you need to give the timing of this a bit more thought. Regardless of your view on the issue, on 29 March 2019, the world as we know it is unlikely to come to a complete end. However, the impact that Brexit has on the construction industry is more gradual than you might imagine and it has already started to impact the costs of home improvements as seen by this guide from Lewis Surveys.
Are Home Improvement Costs Going Up Because of Brexit?
The answer to this is both a yes and a no which makes everything a bit more complicated. Brexit or the referendum vote has already put an unquestionable squeeze on the labour market. The Office for National Statistics has stated that the difference between the number of EU citizens coming to the UK and the number leaving has dropped to 87,000. This is the lowest it has been since December 2012.
According to the ONS, this shift has been driven by the decline in EU arrivals as well as an increase in EU citizens leaving. The most significant statistic is the fact that net migration to the UK from the A8 countries such as Hungary, Poland, Lithuania and the Czech Republic was negative for the first time. These countries had 45,000 people arrive while 47,000 people left the UK.
You might be wondering why this is significant in terms of home improvements. The fact is that these workers have propped up the building product and construction industries. Door and window manufacturers have recruited from the A8 countries and with fewer of these people in the UK, it has been harder for them to recruit and their employment costs have increased.
This is all happening when there are more people in employment. The ONS reports that wages were up 3.1% in the 3 months leading to August compared to the same time last year. This is the largest average wage increase since the 2008 financial crisis.
However, is this actually down to Brexit? It is difficult to say one way or another if this is the case. What is clear is that labour costs are rising for a number of reasons and this has historically led to an increase in price for the consumer. Another factor to consider is the falling value of the Pound.
What Are the Long-term Forecasts Because of Brexit?
When it comes to long-term forecasts for home improvement costs, it is actually very difficult to predict anything with the current climate. The Construction Industry Training Board published a Green Paper over the summer which suggests that Brexit will have a creeping influence on the overall construction sector.
The paper showed that approximately one-third of builders were concerned about their ability to hire skilled workers. 37% of the people currently working in the sector were born outside of the UK. The paper also stated that the cost of building material was already rising by 3% to 4% from last year and that these costs were going to be passed onto homeowners.
Why Brexit Makes Now the Best Time to Invest in Energy Efficient Doors and Windows
If you are thinking of getting some new energy efficient doors and windows, now might be the best time to do this. Moving the purchase up makes more sense when you look at where we currently are. This is not a doomsday scenario prediction rather one that is based on the fact that no-one really knows what is going to happen.
If you buy right now, you know where we are and what the costs are. These costs are also still at a level which makes these windows and doors more affordable. The costs of home improvements aside, you should also take a look at what is happening in the energy market.
Heating costs are on the rise across the country. British Gas announced that there would be a 4% increase in energy costs which is a major jump for the average home heating bill. If you are able to afford it, improving the energy efficiency of your home is one way to mitigate these rising costs and new doors and windows are the best places to start.