Britain’s biggest housebuilding firms and their executives have pocketed billions of pounds as the country’s housing crisis escalates and affordable homes targets are missed.
The four most powerful companies – Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey, Barratt and Berkeley Group – are making so much money they are planning to give £6.6bn extra in dividends to shareholders by 2021, the Bureau has found. Meanwhile the number of affordable homes built fell to a 24-year low this year. Housebuilders routinely argue that affordable housing targets are financially unviable.
House prices have risen five times more than average wages in the last five years, making it impossible for many people to buy their own homes. Those prices have translated into handsome profits for the industry – the four biggest firms together made more than £2bn in pre-tax profits last year.
Our calculations also show that just eight directors working for major housebuilders together earned £230m in the last five years. Two housing executives – Tony Pidgley and Rob Perrins who run industry giant Berkeley – have received £141m from their pay packets and the cashing in of shares since 2011.
So we could build the houses that are needed without lots of unaffordables! As we have said before developers build houses for profit not for need!