December 10 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Watton-based Abel Homes said the rapidly recovering property market, bouyed by the government’s Help to Buy scheme had helped the firm secure its biggest-ever order book, with six months’ worth of construction currently under contract.
Abel Homes is currently processing 28 house sales – the largest number of concurrent deals it has ever handled in its 20 year history, with eight proceeding through Help to Buy. The company sold 15 homes in the whole of 2012.
Tony Abel, managing director, said: “We are now building as fast as we can to meet demand. After a bruising five years, many in the construction sector have fallen by the wayside, and it has been tough for all of us to survive. Thankfully we are now rapidly coming out of that recession.”
Now the firm is gearing up construction – despite a shortage of skilled labour and materials following five troubled years in the property market.
“We have seen a complete and very welcome turnaround in the property sector since the spring,” Mr Abel added. “The combination of good weather, an improving economy, growing confidence, and a little help from George Osborne has seen our busiest ever period of sales.
“This is great news for the economy – it is widely accepted that each new home that is built supports two full-time construction jobs for a year, so our current sales pipeline alone represents 56 jobs for Norfolk.
Despite the good news, Mr Abel was keen to avoid another housing bubble.
“It is not good to have peaks and troughs,” he said. “Whilst the upturn is very welcome, we are now having to tackle skills and materials shortages in the sector, as well as rising materials prices”.
“What we would like to see now is a long period of steady, controlled growth, rather than the boom and bust we have experienced over the past two decades. The Government’s priority now should be to create conditions for that kind of market, so that the construction sector can plan long-term to build the housing that Britain so desperately needs, and create the jobs that will benefit the economy”.
Abel Homes is currently building 83 homes at Watton, and 43 homes in the centre of Shipdham.
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