A Cumbrian housebuilder says it has not seen a fall in consumer demand despite new national figures suggesting Brexit uncertainty has hit the industry.

Nicky Gordon, managing director of Penrith-headquartered Genesis Homes, said the SME housebuilder was going from “strength to strength” and that findings by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) did not reflect the situation in Cumbria.

An FMB survey of SME house builders in England found that consumer demand for new homes had fallen by 8 per cent in the past year to its lowest level since 2013.

Access to available and viable land was cited as the number barrier for respondents for the fifth year running, with FMB chief executive Brian Berry saying the local authorities were too focused on larger sites and not the smaller sites which remained the “bread and butter” of SME developers.

But Mr Gordon, who is also chair of Cumbria House Builders Group, said he believed the situation in the county was not as alarming as the figures suggested.

“Cumbria often fares a lot better than neighbouring counties and is quite far removed from the large swings that face the London property market,” he said.

“I’m pleased to confirm Genesis Homes has not noticed a slow down in the industry and we continue to go from strength to strength and accelerate our sustainable plans for growth. Sales continue apace and we will launch four new developments in the next six months.

“All in all, it’s a buoyant market for Genesis Homes at the moment as we head into a busy period for those who want to move in for Christmas.”

On land availability, Mr Gordon added: “This does cause us some concerns however we have a very proactive land department who work closely with local agents and Council planners to ensure we have a steady stream of suitable land coming through.”

The FMB survey also found that that 38 per cent respondents had seen the performance of planning departments worsen. Only three per cent had seen an improvement in the speed and delivery of planning services following a 20 per cent rise in planning fees in January 2018.

The survey was based on the responses from 154 SMEs during August 2019, a figure which Mr Gordon said “seems a small number from which to draw quite alarming headlines”.