Shortage of construction workers post-Brexit may deepen the housing crisis, according to the British Property Federation

Shruti Tripathi Chopra
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Restrictions on free movement rules may lead to fewer construction workers coming to the UK (Source: Getty)

Stricter post-Brexit immigration controls may deepen the UK's housing crisis due to a shortage of construction workers, according to the British Property Federation (BPF).

The body warned that restrictions on free movement rules could lead to fewer construction workers from within and outside the EU coming to the UK.

BPF chief executive Melanie Leech said: "Talent is a critical issue to sort and, in our sector, it's construction skills.

"There are a huge number of workers coming from within and outside the EU currently and, if we're going to have a really ambitious house-building programme and we're going to build the business infrastructure we need for the 21st century, we have to make sure we can staff the construction industry."

Read more: Editor's Notes: Tory immigration policy will harm the City and our economy

Meanwhile, a report by the Centre for Economic Performance found that any reductions in UK immigration from the EU are likely to lead to lower living standards for the UK-born.

"This is partly because immigrants help to reduce the deficit: they are more likely to work and pay tax; and they are less likely to use public services as, on average, they are younger and better educated than the UK-born," the report said.

Read more: Uh oh. London records the lowest rate of house price growth for five years

The study found the number of immigrants from EU countries has tripled from 0.9m to 3.3m over the past 20 years. There are currently 9m individuals (7.4m adults of working age) in the UK who were born abroad, twice the number 20 years ago.

Professor Jonathan Wadsworth, author of the report, said: "It is very difficult to find much evidence that immigration has had a negative effects on many sectors of the economy. Any adverse experiences of UK-born workers with regard to jobs and wages are much more closely associated with the biggest economic crash for more than 80 years."

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