31st May 2015
With the Government realising the chronic shortage of housing in the UK, they have stated that 1 million new homes will be built over the next five years. However, data released by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DGLC), shows that there were 35,530 house building starts in England, down 3% when compared to the final quarter of 2015.
Further to this, the completion of new build houses is around 9% lower than the Q4 2015 and 3% lower than this time last year.
Although the first quarter has seen a decrease on the final quarter of 2015, the number of builds starting are now 107% above the low from the March quarter of 2009. They have not yet reached the peak of March quarter 2007 and are currently about 27% below this figure.
The slower start to the year is echoed in figures from the National House Building Council (NHBC) which show a fall of 8% in new home registrations with the NHBC over the past three months compared with Q4 2015.
‘February’s new home registration figures demonstrate steady levels of house building activity. Despite a slow overall start to the year, industry confidence remains high and house builders are progressing well with their plans for growth in 2016, as seen by the increase in the number of new home completions,’ said NHBC chief executive Mike Quinton.
According to Jan Crosby, head of housing at KPMG, London’s recent Mayoral Election highlighted the concerning on-going housing crisis in the capital, but the house building statistics for the first quarter of 2016 should extend that concern countrywide.
‘While undoubtedly some will point to a 12% rise in completions annually, drops across the board cannot be ignored, especially given annual starts have increased by just 1%,’ said Crosby.
‘These statistics are down to the fact that not enough is being done to fix the broken housing market. We are still only seeing around 140,000 homes being built per year, over 100,000 less than we need,’ she pointed out.
‘And at the rental end of the market, the picture is even more worrying as completions by housing associations fell by 24% last quarter on the previous, showing the effect of recent cuts to their revenue streams and a likely knock on to housing some of our society’s most vulnerable,’ she explained.