Housebuilding figures up but still well below target levels

New starts up by a third

More than 112,000 homes were built in England over the last year, a rise of four per cent over the previous 12 months, according to new government figures.

However, this is still less than half the number estimated to be necessary to deal with the country's housing shortage.

Between March 2013 and March 2014, the government reports around 133,000 new housing starts, up by a third on the previous 12 months. House building starts in England are estimated at 36,450 in the first three months of this year, around 11 per cent higher than the previous three months and up by nearly a third compared to the same period last year.

"House building is finally moving in the right direction," said Peter Williams, Executive Director of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association, "but whether it is doing so fast enough and with enough urgency remains to be seen. We are battling against a deep deficit of new homes across the UK and a 31% annual rise in new starts still leaves us staring into the abyss of a severe supply problem as population pressures grow.

"The lack of housing supply remains the overriding issue in the property market and its impact is changing the shape of housing tenure across the nation. IMLA’s latest report shows the hefty growth of the private rented sector in recent years has been needed to cater for changes in society. But the lack of new homes coming onto the market has put the squeeze on first time buyers and threatens to consign mass homeownership to the history books."

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, added: "Any uptick in housebuilding should be welcomed, but the worrying reality is that we are still building less than half the homes we need.

"Successive governments have failed to build enough homes to keep up with demand, and the result is thousands of young people and families forced to watch their dream of a home of their own slip further and further out of reach, leaving them stuck in the rent trap or living in their childhood bedrooms. Everyone agrees that we need to build more homes, but sticking plaster solutions like Help to Buy or tweaks to planning rules will never tackle the hole in our housing market.

"Solving the housing shortage is possible, we just need politicians to roll up their sleeves and commit to the solutions that will create a healthier housebuilding market for the long term, from boosting small builders with government guarantees, to getting land into the hands of those who can build the affordable homes we need."

Emma Reynolds MP, Labour’s Shadow Housing Minister said the figures show that the government is still failing to tackle the growing housing shortage.

"We need to build many more homes to keep up with demand. Owning a home is out of reach of many low and middle-income earners, and rents are rising faster than wages," she said.

"While the increase in housing starts is welcome, the number of homes actually built over the past year is less than half what we need to meet demand and is lower than every year under the last Labour government. Labour is clear that you can’t deal with the cost-of-living crisis without building more homes and has committed to getting 200,000 homes a year built by 2020."

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: SAGE Bookkeeper & PA to Directors

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Executive

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An On-line Sales & Customer Ser...

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Assistant - Fixed Term Contract - 6 Months

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...

Recruitment Genius: Electricians - Fixed Wire Testing

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map