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16/11/2017

More than 180,000 new homes delivered in 2016-17 – stats

Words: Laura Edgar
New houses | iStock-175157265

Latest government statistics have suggested that total housing supply in England was up by 217,350 net homes in 2016/17, an increase of 15 per cent compared with 2015/16.

This is a result of 183,350 new-build homes, 31,190 gains from change of use between non-domestic and residential, and 5,680 from conversions between houses and flats.

Additionally, there were 720 gains through caravans and houseboats.

It was all offset by 9,820 demolitions.

Of the 37,190 change of use gains, 18,887 of the net additions were through permitted development rights:

  • 17,751 from former offices;
  • 330 from agricultural or forestry buildings;
  • 106 from storage buildings; and
  • 700 from other non-domestic buildings.

Last week, The Planner reported that government statistics suggested that 41,530 affordable homes were delivered in England in 2016/17, 27 per cent higher than the previous year.

Shelter said this is well below the average for the past 10 years and that “19 per cent of new properties announced today are classed as affordable”.

Polly Neate, chief executive at Shelter, admitted that it is good to see some increase in new homes, however, “the numbers are still well short of the government’s own targets and we should be crystal clear that not even a fifth of these are affordable”, she said.

“With hundreds of thousands of people homeless this Christmas and those in need of affordable homes going up all the time, owing to a crippling combination of soaring rents and welfare cuts, these numbers fall woefully short.

“If the government is serious about tackling our housing crisis and helping the millions of families on lower incomes in the upcoming budget then sticking plasters will not be enough – it must urgently prioritise building homes which are genuinely affordable for ordinary people to rent or buy.”

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation (HBF), which represents housebuilders, said the statistics illustrate the huge progress being made, and the “rapid rate at which builders have responded to positive measures from the government to deliver more and more new homes”.

“The industry is committed to even greater levels of investment to deliver the high-quality new homes the country needs to address our housing crisis. As well as delivering much-needed homes the industry is also creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs boosting local economies across the country,” he said.

The housebuilding industry has called on the government to use next week’s Budget to provide certainty on the future of Help to Buy post 2021, remove barriers for SMEs, start-ups and specialist retirement builders so they can play their part in building more homes, and push forward proposals in the housing white paper to improve the planning system.

Housing Supply; Net Additional Dwellings, England: 2016-17 can be found on the Department for Communities and Local Government website (pdf).

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