The number of new build homes started and completed continues to fall below government targets, according to new figures published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, which added that new build dwellings figures should be regarded as a leading indicator of overall housing supply.
The latest figures showed that annual new build dwelling starts totalled 157,550 in the year to September 2019, a 7% decrease compared to the year to September 2018. During the same period, completions totalled 177,980, an increase of 9% compared with last year.
Clive Docwra, managing director of construction consulting and design agency McBains, said: “The government has set a target of delivering a million homes in the next five years, yet the figures show that the construction industry is way off meeting those rates on current trends. Annual new build starts in the year to September 2019 saw a decrease of 7% on the previous year, and while completions totalled close to 178,000, we need to be building more than 200,000 homes each year to meet the government’s ambitions.
“Last month’s Queen’s Speech contained lots of detail on demand-side measures – such as first-time buyers being offered a discount on purchases – but nothing on the supply side. The government needs to set out how it intends to boost housebuilding and increase the supply of new homes needed to tackle the housing crisis, such as freeing up more land to build and cutting red tape on planning.”
Builders are still waiting for the ‘Boris bounce’
Workloads for small building companies fell in the final quarter of 2019 but builders are more optimistic for 2020 according to a recent survey from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
The key results of the FMB’s State of Trade Survey for Q4 were: