Since spring last year Britain has been in recovery mode. The country is slowly getting back on its feet after the worst recession in living memory. Surely that means our future as a world leading economy is secure. But is it? Perhaps we are simply climbing up a rather precariously balanced economic ladder and, similar to what happened in 2008, we will have another spectacular fall from grace.
Hardly a day has gone by this year without flood warnings, flood risks and flood management being mentioned in the media. The Environment Agency has already issued hundreds of flood warning and alerts for England and Wales this year and in Scotland, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency has issued 27 flood alerts and 61 flood warnings between January 1st and January 20th alone. The Environment Agency estimate that already this year around 640 properties have flooded in England alone.
Twelve months ago no one was predicting the significant increase in new housing starts that shocked the industry in 2013. We entered the year cautiously optimistic expecting a modest 3 per cent increase in new housing starts and after a disappointing first quarter no one could be certain what the rest of the year would hold.