Home construction is up but still short of target
The number of new homes being constructed in England has increased this year, but there are still concerns that not enough are being built.
In the first quarter of the year, new home starts reached 43,170, representing a three per cent increase compared to the same period last year. Despite the positive figures from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG), the growth is not fast enough to hit the government's target of a million new homes by 2020.
The 12 months to March 2017 saw new home starts increase by 15 per cent compared to the previous year, with 162,880 homes being constructed. The number of properties being completed also rose quarter on quarter standing at 39,520, which was also 21 per cent more than seen during the first quarter of 2016. Over the 12-month period to March, a six per cent increase was seen, with 147,960 completions.
Housing association new home starts saw a two per cent quarter on quarter rise, however, completions fell by five per cent. Private new builds also saw an increase of four per cent compared to the previous quarter, with completions also rising by 12 per cent, which is positive news.
New build manager at the Legal and General Mortgage Club, Craig Hall, said that the latest figures are encouraging but more still needs to be done in order to hit the government's ambitious target.
"The simple fact is that more houses need to be built across all tenures, shared ownership, private rental, and owner occupier. New build offers the perfect opportunity to restructure our housing market once and for all, by tackling our nation’s chronic housing shortage," he said.
These figures follow a recent poll by Reuters, which suggests that planning regulations should be less strict, encouraging greater levels of house building. Not only could this help to achieve the one million home target, it could help to stop property prices increasing much further, which is beneficial for landlords and potential homeowners.