Building and construction firms see share prices fall amid Brexit uncertainty

Almost all construction-related firms that are publicly listed have seen their share prices fall as uncertainty regarding the chances of a no-deal Brexit increased and led to concern among investors, following government announcements this week. 

This includes all major house builders and a number of smaller supply companies. Share prices had seen falls of up to 7% amid government turmoil over Brexit announcements. These falls include Bovis and Persimmon where stocks fell by 7% and Berkeley Group and Redrow where shares fell by 5%.

The Prime Minister Theresa May announced a draft Brexit agreement this week that led to a number of ministerial resignations including Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey. This has led to a call from construction industry leaders for stability to ensure businesses could have continued investment. The agreement suggests that there could be a transition period of 21 months from the end of 2020, however, the construction industry has made it clear that a period of 5 years would indicate more stability.

Brian Berry, the chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders has stated that the one positive from the draft deal is that there will be no hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. He points out that half of their members agree this would have had a negative effect on the ability to purchase materials from the Republic.

However, Berry also points out that new trade deals may be more difficult to negotiate internationally due to the proposed customer union arrangements.

It has, however, been suggested that the government is unlikely to get agreement on the draft deal due to a lack of support across all parties. This could lead to a no-deal Brexit.