Property News

Housebuilding is Moving in the Right Direction, but Not Fast Enough

Em Morley - May 28, 2019

Housebuilding across the UK is moving in the right direction, but is not fast enough to keep up with demand, according to the latest Dwelling Stock Estimates from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

In its most recent report, covering up to 31st March 2018, the Government department found that there were 24.2m homes in England – an increase of 222,000 dwellings (0.93%) on the same point of the previous year.

Of these, 15.3m were owner-occupied, 4.8m were private rental, while 4.0m were social and affordable rental homes.

Between March 2017 and March 2018, the owner-occupied dwelling stock increased by 226,000, while the number of private rental homes increased by 10,000. 

The amount of homes in the social and affordable rental sectors dropped by 1,000, with other public sector stock down by 13,000 dwellings.

On 1st October 2018, 634,453 vacant dwellings were recorded in England – up by 28,562 (4.7%) from 605,891 on 2nd October 2017. Empty homes account for 2.6% of all housing stock.

Long-term vacant dwellings numbered 216,186 on 1st October 2018 – an increase of 10,893 (5.3%) from 205,293 on 2nd October 2017. Long-term empty homes make up 0.9% of all housing stock.

Joseph Daniels, the Founder of modular developer Project Etopia, comments on the report: “This ten-year high for the creation of new homes in percentage terms is a welcome milestone, appearing as it does in the long shadow of ambitious housebuilding pledges set out by the Government at the last election.

“That manifesto commitment equated to nearly 200,000 new homes a year, though there remains a question mark over whether the Tory pledge related to the building of new homes or just the delivery of new stock, which can include the creation of new homes through other means including change of use.”

He continues: “However, even if the Government was to argue all additional dwellings count towards the manifesto commitment, the rate of progress is still too sluggish to render its commitment for a further 500,000 homes by 2022 a safe bet.

“The country is moving in the right direction, just not quickly enough, so it may take further incentives or policy changes to inject a bit of urgency into the growth in these figures.”