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BLOG: Who wants to buy a house builder right now?

In the current climate it’s a struggle to sell houses let alone sell a firm that builds them.

I mean who would be interested in buying a house builder in these challenging times. Well the administrators that decided to close the contracting arm of David McLean’s business this week and retain its housing division to look for a buyer seem to think that someone out there might.

David McLean was sited as the credit crunch’s biggest construction victim by the BBC as it hit the wall with debts of around £100 million on Monday.

Surely even the best salesman would struggle to put a positive spin on that one.

A few of us puzzled over the decision at CECA’s annual pie ‘n’ a pint supper this week.

But, talk about kicking us when we are down…

At a time when new work is drying up the last thing we want to hear about is existing projects being shelved.

Contracts for new building projects put out to tender this month totalled just £1.2 billion - the lowest since July 2005.

And exclusive Construction News research revealed that nearly £3.2 billion of work has been mothballed in the last fortnight.

It is not just small jobs being shelved either, four UK skyscraper projects are being put on the back burner as well.

With the industry facing its biggest challenge in a generation, the big concern has to be for those at the coal face.

The question is, how long can those affected keep the wolves from the door while we wait for projects to get up and running again.

Materials will have been purchased and construction teams moved into position.

The sad truth is that there will be a lot more casualties to come and valuable skills and once strong businesses will be lost.