Government figures show that 190,000 homes were added to the housing stock in England in the last financial year, up 11% on 2014-2015. Of these, 163,940 were new build homes, up 6%.
The Home Builders Federation has welcomed the figures saying that they confirm that the government’s plan to deliver 1 million homes in this parliament is on track and that the housebuilding industry is responding to government policies aimed at stimulating supply.
“To achieve the government’s ‘1 million homes in this parliament’ target, output needs to average 200,000 homes a year,” said HBF. “The new figures, that effectively cover the first year of the parliament, show that recent increases in housing delivery have been sustained and built on, with all indicators suggesting that further increases will occur.”
The figures show that overall housing supply from April 2015 to April 2016 did actually reach 200,000 (200,070), up 10% on the year before, but once demolitions are taken off there were 189,650 net additions to the housing stock, up 11%. They also show there has been a 52% increase in housing supply over the past three years.
Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation, said: “These figures provide the best evidence to date as to how much housebuilders have ramped up housing supply. The government’s ambitious target to build 1 million homes over the course of this parliament is now within reach.
“In response to the positive measures introduced by government in recent years, such as Help to Buy, huge increases in output have been delivered. Providing government continues to create an environment within which the industry can operate and grow, housebuilders will continue to increase delivery of new homes.
“Moving forward, the housebuilding industry will play a key role in building a new Britain and driving our post Brexit economy.”
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “(These) figures showing that 189,000 additional homes were created in 2015/2016 is positive progress towards solving the housing crisis.
"However, the total created still falls below the number needed each year to deliver the Government’s stated aim of building one million new homes by 2020. The current figures also show a strong reliance on the conversion of existing buildings to residential use, which is a trend that can’t be sustained indefinitely. Recent Government policies to boost house building are helping, but there is still plenty of room for more radical solutions to meet the one million target.
“The Government needs to turbo-charge the SME house building sector. Smaller firms, once the main drivers of house building in this country, have become only marginal players in the market, which has hampered the capacity of the industry.
"The Government has already recognised the importance of revitalising SMEs through its attempts to improve the availability of finance for smaller firms, but much more can be done. In particular, we need to see a renewed focus on enabling planning permission for more small sites, which are the bread and butter of SME builders.
"We’re hopeful that the Government will listen to the voice of SME builders in its forthcoming Housing White Paper and put measures to enable more small scale development at the heart of the country’s house building strategy.”