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Government’s housebuilding plans are insufficient to tackle housing crisis

The government remains committed to building more new homes, but their target of 300,000 a year is unlikely to be met.

Sky-high house prices, fundamentally caused by a chronic housing shortage, have created a broken housing market which makes the cost of living in many parts of the UK harder than ever.

The failure to construct enough homes means that Britain’s housing shortage has reached crisis point as the number of prospective buyers, albeit currently at an historic low, continues to outweigh the volume of homes on the market, placing upward pressure on house prices, which is leaving many people with little alternative but to turn to the PRS for accommodation.


Given the supply-demand imbalance in this country, it is clear that we are faced with a crisis, and that is why Theresa May this week delivered a speech at the National Housing Federation conference about erasing the stigma attached to social housing and the need to boost the supply of low-cost homes.

The prime minister has pledged to provide housing associations with £2bn in new funding to help them build more affordable homes.

She told the conference of the National Housing Federation, which represents housing associations, that “the most ambitious” providers will be able to bid for government money to last them until 2028-29.

Ben Denton, managing director of Legal & General Affordable Homes, commented: “We are pleased that the government has announced increased funding towards affordable housing today. This will help to deliver more homes at levels that residents can afford in areas which need it most.”

The government’s pro-housebuilding stance has helped push up the number of new homes registered across the UK, and this latest announcement by the PM should help further increase the number of new build properties, helping to ease high demand for housing.

But the volume of new homes being delivered remains significantly below the government target of 300,000 new homes a year.

Knight Frank’s latest annual Housebuilding report states that 86% of housebuilders believe construction of 250,000 additional homes a year is the maximum achievable amount by 2022.

Just 1% of respondents, which include more than 100 developers that account for almost three quarters of all newly-built homes across the country each year, think surpassing 300,000 additional homes each year is possible by 2022.

David Fenton, head of regional land at Knight Frank, commented, “Nationwide, housebuilding looks set to increase, underpinned by more evenly distributed house price growth and high levels of employment in regional cities.

“However, our survey indicates that scepticism prevails among housebuilders over whether it’s possible to deliver 300,000 additional homes a year, and ultimately they will only build what they can sell.”

There is plenty of speculation that house prices will fall, owed in part to Brexit, and yet the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that UK property prices grew from June to July, albeit at a reduced rate of 1.2%.

The reality is that the fundamentals that drove house prices higher remain the same, with demand continuing to outweigh supply.

With housebuilders failing to deliver anywhere near the number of homes needed in this country, property prices - and rents - will inevitably rise further in the medium- to long-term, even if there is a dip in the short-term. 

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    who's going to build them, where are the bricklayers, carpenters etc, our work force are all nouncers out of uni, fat of use they are.

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    If the government can't house our population them stop bringing more people into the country.They are behaving like addicts. Expanding our population may provide more people to tax but that is hardly an economy.


    very few invaders pay any taxes

  • Matthew Payne

    Much of this housebulidng is simply to try to suppress house prices and create economic activity, it has very little to do with a housing crisis ie not enough dwellings. A similar strategy to that of Labour with the public sector under Gordon Brown. Give everyone a job in a government department to bring down unemployment and create tax receipts. Trouble was noone noticed on their spreadsheet that the salary bill was larger than the tax collected and they ran out of cash.

    The industry has already been very critical of these souless housing estates/towns being built in 5 minutes with no infrastructure at all following behind. A village not far from me has had about 10,000 new homes built there in massive estates in the last 3 or so years, replicated all over the country. There are 2 tiny little "local" high street supermarkets with no parking, 1 now stretched doctors surgery, no dentist, no petrol station, 1 school, no banks, no park, 1 tiny gym with about 20 machines, only 2 pubs you can never get in, no restaurants, no retail shops, just estate agents, charity shops and hairdressers. You have to drive to neighbouring towns to do anything. Who would want to live there? The Tories are creating a larger societal crisis with all this thoughtless panic building.


    moslems dont drink

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    when does help to buy end?

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    • 17 July 2020 12:37 PM

    I thought it was planned to build a series of Garden cities like WGC which are very popular and have all facilities.

    Not one has been built yet

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    • 17 July 2020 14:42 PM

    I know many Muslims from my 12 years in the Middle East, I can tell you for sure that a fair old number of them partake in the evil brew..........


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