Alastair Stewart

Alastair Stewart

Alastair Stewar has almost 30 years experience of the construction industry as equities analyst, journalist and columnist. He writes a monthly column on the residential market for Property Week and sits on the housebuilding panel of the Experian Construction Forecasting Committee.




  • Houses being built_shutterstock_403894603_cred Duncan Andison PW250518

    Timing’s everything in land market


    Market anecdotes suggest that the stampede to buy at least the best-quality sites is picking up again.

  • Surveyor

    Alastair Stewart on why quantity surveyors are survivors


    Blessed are the quantity surveyors, to paraphrase St Matthew, for they shall inherit the Earth. Just like the cockroaches. That’s not to denigrate QSs. Nor cockroaches.

  • Bricks_credit_shutterstock_frantic00_1803168007

    Building developer costs are finally down


    After soaring since the pandemic, the cost of building materials and labour finally seems to be falling. But it may be too late to save many subcontractors, many of which now appear to be on life support.

  • persimmonshowhomesshutterstock_1577967808colinburdettpw070820_474142

    Was October the turning point?


    Could we have already witnessed the worst that the much-heralded housing ‘crash’ has had to throw at us? Persimmon chief executive Dean Finch was prepared to stick his neck out this month after half-decent trading in October: “Given where we started the year, we’d have taken this in a heartbeat,” ...

  • shutterstock_463572404_cred Gellert Buzas

    UK housing’s mixed weather map


    “On a bad day… you can see Wales,” a chief executive of a national housebuilder joked some years ago while unveiling homes by the Severn Estuary outside Bristol. Since then, local prices have soared, forcing many workers in the booming Somerset area to buy on the other side of the ...

  • Truss, Liz

    Was housing really trussed by Liz?


    Blink and you’d have missed them, but a year on from Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng’s widely derided clanger of a ‘mini Budget’, housebuilders and estate agents are still reporting the aftermath. Imagine if the former prime minister and chancellor had unleashed a ‘maxi Budget’?

  • shutterstock_297235109_cred Cesarz

    The Emperor strikes back


    “Some merchants are always eager to turn a profit. Therefore, we decree that the benefit of low prices is not hindered while greed, checked in advance, is restrained.” Not the words of left-wingers calling for price controls, but those of Emperor Diocletian’s Edict on Maximum Prices in 301AD. He failed; ...

  • Starmer hutterstock_1574272270 (1) ComposedPix

    Home economics: a new enthusiasm for Labour


    Alastair Stewart explores Labour’s growing appeal.

  • PW160623_modular_shutterstock_1441164959_cred Stephen Dewhurst

    Modular homes vision falls flat


    I can almost set my watch by it. Every 10 years, it seems, I convince myself that this time, modular housing is finally set to take off. My latest enthusiasm for modern methods of construction (MMC) looks more short-lived than usual.

  • Two newly-developed homes inside a warehouse. Artificial snow is on the ground, with a car covered in the snow in front of one of the homes.

    Alastair Stewart on the futureproofing of new housing developments


    Snow in May – even if it is in Manchester? Except the artificially produced flurry is not at the northern capital’s indoor ski slope but from a housing research project trying to preserve the future of the natural white stuff.

  • Stamford Bridge

    Hide chequebook to avoid blues


    The more you spend, the less value you obtain. Several housebuilders have learned that the hard way in the past couple of decades. Somebody should tell that to Chelsea FC’s American co-owner.

  • Architect_credit_shutterstock_Akira Kaelyn_740754769

    Equities analyst and consultant, Alastair Stewart, on the number of architects in the industry


    There is a scientifically unreliable but effective way of inversely gauging architects’ workload – and, thus, the outlook for the wider property market: how much time designers spend on social media. It seems to have soared, but they appear more exercised about saving the planet than saving their jobs.

  • Hebden Bridge shutterstock_274166933 peter jeffreys

    Equities analyst and consultant, Alastair Stewart, on property affordability in the north of England


    Swept up by the hype, I’ve just binge-watched my first-ever run of British TV crime drama Happy Valley. All good Bafta-worthy stuff. But is it really that unrelentingly grim up north?

  • Market shares

    Equities analyst Alastair Stewart on the adage of buying on the rumour, selling on the good


    There’s an old stock market adage, dating to less assiduously policed times: buy on the rumour, sell on the news. At least when it comes to good rumours.

  • Housing market finance chart

    It’s beginning to look like Christmas


    Christmas arrived early for the housing market this year. Not from a bedazzled child’s aspect; more, at least it would seem from early evidence, from a turkey’s.

  • London houses

    Don’t listen to housing ‘experts’


    Was rehabilitated Levelling-up secretary Michael Gove right in one of his past pronouncements, that “people have had enough of ‘experts’ saying they know what is best and getting it consistently wrong”? Quite possibly, especially when it comes to housing.

  • PW071022_stocks_shutterstock_1713378805_cred Poring Studio

    A meltdown is wide of the mark


    “What do you think of Sterling’s performance yesterday?” I asked a neighbour a day after the mini-Budget. “Dreadful,” he answered. “He just couldn’t get the ball across to Kane.” No, I clarified: “The pound versus the US dollar, not Raheem versus the Italian defence.”

  • Aint nothing going up but the rent poster shutterstock_333834479 HipKat PW090922

    Will rent cap prove anti-social?


    The road to housing hell is paved with government good intentions. The latest example is the thoroughly laudable aim of sheltering social housing tenants from double-digit rental inflation. The problem is that might stop development of affordable housing in its tracks.

  • Truss, Liz

    A Tory scrap on the home front


    FFS! What are the Tories up to? Not my abbreviation, but the riposte from Tory MP Angela Richardson after Nadine Dorries criticised Rishi Sunak for modelling Prada shoes while rival Liz Truss scrapes by with £4.50 earrings.

  • PW080722_housing_shutterstock_648611077_cred Alicia G. Monedero

    Housing cycles: the key differences


    It’ll be different this time. No, I’m not being ironic. The way this housing cycle unwinds is likely to be very different to the last two – despite the headlines.

More by Alastair Stewart