Latest official figures published from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has revealed that over 170,000 new homes were built for the year ending June 2019 - an 11 year high for the UK.
The data shows that a total of 173,600 new homes were built during the 12-month period, an 8% increase year-on-year.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has welcomed the data, claiming that the number of new homes built reaching an 11-year high shows that the UK is moving in the right direction, but he also acknowledges that there is still a great deal more that needs to be done to successfully deliver the number of new build homes that are needed by communities all across the country.
Jenrick added that there is a strong determination to deliver new build homes that are high-quality, well designed and environmentally friendly. Faster and simpler planning regulations will have a big contribution towards making that goal achievable, and is the reason measures have been put in place to help accelerate planning decisions for new-build homes and to reduce the use of unnecessary conditions by as much as a third, freeing up developers so they can proceed with builds in a locally appropriate way.
According to the data, the proportion of family houses that were built last year also increased to 78% of all new dwellings within the marketplace, which is the highest the figure has been since 2000.
Ministers recently announced new measures to be part of the accelerated planning green paper which aims to speed up the time it takes to make decisions and get builds underway. These measures include things such as new permitted development rights, allowing the demolition and rebuild of old commercial buildings, as well as ordering councils to meet timescales or refund planning application fees.
This new data points to positive news ahead of the upcoming publication of comprehensive delivery statistics which is due to be published next month. 220,000 new homes we built by the English housing market last year - the highest figure in all but one of the previous 31 years.
Despite this, some in the industry are not convinced that this is enough. Some say that on the surface, the latest figures appear extremely encouraging and no mean feat given the current political and economic uncertainty surrounding Britain, but there is still cause for some concern. Affordable homes have seen a big spike in completions which is welcomed, but the numbers also point to a decrease in dwellings started to 2% quarterly and 8% year on year. Experts claim this is no seasonal blip and that home builders and local authorities will need to work hard together to ensure the positive trend in affordable housing supply is maintained to come anywhere near meeting the high demand.
According to some, figures are only approximately halfway towards where they need to be if the housing crisis is to be addressed sufficiently. As well as this, the consensus among many is that not only do we need more homes constructed, but there also needs to be a strong emphasis on the quality and attractiveness of new build properties as according to research as many as 63% of UK homebuyers disregard new-builds because they lack character.
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