Building companies in the area are facing tough times as work dries up in the wake of the credit crisis.
Dennis Bylett, of D R Bylett, a building company in Worcester Park, gave a shocking insight into the current state of the building industry.
Mr Bylett, of Woodlands Avenue, Worcester Park, said this year he had lost £50,000 to £60,000 because the work has simply dried up.
Now he has started eating into his savings to pay bills, and has de-registered from VAT. The family-run business, based in the area for 25 years, does a range of different projects all over south london.
Mr Bylett said the problems started in around mid-July as the banking crisis gained steam. He said: “Things have really slowed down locally and we are not getting any work at all, not even any enquiries. People seem to have completely lost confidence and don’t want to spend their money.”
Mr Bylett said banks should lower interest rates so people could afford to borrow money again. This is supported by the most recent survey from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), representing over 13m small-to-medium sized building companies in Britain.
The report found that figures for employment, workload and enquiries regarding jobs, had all dropped dramatically. Brian Berry, executive director of the FMB, said house building was at its lowest level since 1945 and the Government needed to “take urgent action if the building industry is not going to suffer any further”.
He said the housing supply was increasing the urgency of the problem. He said: “There is a serious under supply of homes, with over 150,000 on council house waiting lists.”
Some optimism can be gleaned from the survey, however, as it showed that greater London was still doing better than any other English areas.
Gavin Murphy, associate architect of John Onken Architects, based in High Street, Kingston, said: “The number of contracts has dwindled a little, but the company is fairly stable.” Mr Murphy’s company deals mostly with people doing private projects. He said that the biggest victims will be, “The more middle of the road, smaller businesses, and also companies doing large-scale house building projects.”