Britain’s homebuilding falling short of government targets

Feb 09 | 2019

The UK Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP has welcomed figures published in November showing over 222,000 new homes were delivered in 2017 to 2018.

Although this represents the highest level of new homes delivered across England in all but one of the last 31 years, and brings the total number of additional homes delivered since 2010 to 1.3 million, it’s still short of the government target of 300,000 homes a year.

Mr Brokenshire said that the increase follows significant government reforms, including more streamlined planning rules and more investment into the Affordable Homes Programme. 

 “Today’s figures are great news and show another yearly increase in the number of new homes delivered, but we are determined to do more to keep us on track to deliver the homes communities need,” he said. "That’s why we have set out an ambitious package of measures to deliver 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s. This includes over £44 billion investment, rewriting the planning rules and scrapping the borrowing cap so councils can deliver a new generation of council housing.”

Russell Quirk, Property Expert and Founder of estate agency commented: “Whilst the increase in new homes delivered is of course welcomed, there is a huge dose of caution needed here before the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government reaches for the Bollinger in celebration. Year on year growth in supply has dwindled to just a whimper at just 2% and at this rate of growth the government target of 300,000 new dwellings delivered each year will take fifteen years to reach."

Of the 222,190 homes, only 195,290 are actual new homes constructed. The balance are conversions such as office to residential through permitted development or houses that have been turned into flats.