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74% of small builders support a national retrofit strategy, says FMB

The latest State of Trade Survey from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) reveals that 74% of members are in favour of the UK Government introducing a long-term plan to reduce energy consumption by making existing homes greener and more energy efficient.

The survey shows that, growth in workloads, enquiries and employment levels are all continuing to contract, with enquiries dropping into negative territory for the first time since 2013, excluding the pandemic years.

Price rises are continuing to soar with 90% of builders experiencing material cost increases and 88% of respondents expecting prices to rise in the next quarter. Material shortages and difficulties finding skilled labour are still causing job delays for the majority of FMB members. Around 60% of builders have delayed jobs due to a lack of materials and 59% have delayed work due to a shortage of skilled tradespeople.

Brian Berry, chief executive at the FMB, said: “The fall in builders’ workloads and enquiries to a level not seen since 2013, discounting the turbulent market during the pandemic, is a worrying signal about the future prospects for the building industry. They reflect the overall economic situation that the UK finds itself in.”

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