England Housebuilding Rate Slows To Below Pre-Crash Levels

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England Housebuilding Rate Slows To Below Pre-Crash Levels

England Housebuilding Rate Slows To Below Pre-Crash Levels

It seems we can’t clamber our way out of this housebuilding black hole that we’ve somehow ended up in, no matter what kind of strategies, ideas and schemes are suggested – and now new analysis has just revealed that housebuilding across half of England is now in fact slower than it was before the 2008 financial crash.

The BBC has found that 80 per cent of local authority areas saw fewer homes built every year than government estimates say they need. Nearly ten years on from the recession, 52 per cent of councils saw fewer properties being built in 2017 than in the year running up to the crisis.

In actual fact, last year saw the biggest percentage increase in new homes in nine years. In all, 217,000 new properties were built in 2016/2017 – two-thirds of the government-set target of 300,000. And these included conversions of buildings already in existence, as well as new builds.

Head of policy at the National Housing Federation James Prestwich said that about 340,000 properties should be built in England each and every year, explaining that the houses the country requires haven’t been built “for some considerable time”. In fact, he went on to say that it’s been around four decades or more since the country last built sufficient properties to keep up with demand.

The Federation of Master Builders’ Andrew Dixon made further comments, saying: “The planning system has become much more complex, difficult and costly to navigate. It’s disproportionately costly for small builders. The planning process is essentially the same for a five-unit development as it is for a 500-unit development. But the biggest factor is the lack of availability of smaller sites and smaller development opportunities, and I think the planning system has played a major role in that.”

This comes as communities secretary James Brokenshire issued a call for more garden towns in England, with more high quality homes built and green areas expanded – all part of the government’s ambition to build 300,000 properties each year by the middle of the 2020s.

He stated that the idea is to help local councils build “strong and vibrant communities”, communities where people are keen to live, work and raise their families. These garden communities can take on the form of new cities, towns or villages, with the potential to deliver well designed properties on a greater scale.

You can have a look at the Garden Communities prospectus on the Ministry of Housing Communities & Local Government website. Some 23 places are being supported in the current programme, with the aim being to deliver more than 200,000 houses by the middle of the century. Ambitious councils will be championed, those which want to see these garden communities as a pivotal part of their plans for housing and growth.

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