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What is The Most Effective Way to Build More Homes in The UK?

In the 12 months to the end of September this year total house building starts reached 138,640, a 16% rise compared to the previous 12 month period, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). However, in the most recent quarter (Q3) the number of seasonally adjusted house building starts in England was 33,000, a 10% decrease compared to Q2.

According to this year's Annual Planning Survey by the British Property Federation (BPF), the greatest obstacles to building more homes remain the planning system (52%) followed by a shortage of land (43%).

Next year, house build completions should exceed 120,000 for the first time in five years but according to the Home Builders Federation (HBF) we need to build at least 220,000 homes a year just to keep up with new household projections, but this figure does not take into account the historical undersupply of homes in recent decades and is therefore a minimum requirement.

The HBF gives the following stats regarding the 'housing crises' in the UK: the average house price to salary ratio has almost doubled over the past 40 years to around 7 times annual salary; 80% of first-time buyers now require financial help from family or friends and the number of first time buyers is at record lows; social housing waiting lists have doubled in the past 10 years with 1.85m households waiting for a home.

The HBF is also calling for specific assistance for SME builders stating: 'Smaller builders have been disproportionality hit by bureaucracy and complexity in the system which has increased considerably over the last two decades. This has contributed to a 78% fall in the number of developers building 100 units or fewer in the period between 1988 and 2013.'

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