22 May 2015

Housebuilding lags behind demand

Just 125,110 homes were built in England between April 2014 and March 2015, new government figures show today. That is 119,890 homes short of 245,000 – widely accepted as the number of new homes needed every year just to keep up with demand. 

The National Housing Federation is calling on the new government to invest in building new homes, including much needed affordable homes for low rent and shared ownership.  It highlights that by building the 80,000 affordable homes the country desperately needs, it would add £8.1bn to the economy and support almost 170,000 full-time equivalent jobs. 

In the South West 17,700 homes were built between April 2014 and March 2015 and 21,890 homes were built between the same period in the South East.

In the past year housing associations have built 27,010 new homes, around a fifth of all homes built while local councils built just 1,230 over the same period. 

In the four years 2011 to 2014, the total shortfall against the need for new homes totalled 515,340.

The housing backlog has been caused by decades of not building enough, coupled with a growing population as people live longer and the birth rate increases. The lack of supply is pricing many people out of owning or renting a home in their local area. 

Howard Toplis, GreenSquare’s chief executive, said: “GreenSquare and other housing associations are building more homes to address the housing crisis, but we still need the new government to play its part too.  The government has committed to end the housing crisis within a generation, now it must free up land and provide proper investment to make that happen.”

Henry Gregg, assistant director of campaigns and communication at the National Housing Federation, said: “We have a far reaching housing crisis and at its heart is the reality that not nearly enough homes have been built for a generation or more. We need urgent action to get more housing of all types built.” 

References

1. Housebuilding statistics are provided by DCLG https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-house-building

2. Projected demand for homes is based on the Holman report http://www.cchpr.landecon.cam.ac.uk/Downloads/HousingDemandNeed_TCPA2013.pdf

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