Record low housing numbers reveal scale of the crisis

Figures released today reveal that the net number of homes added to the housing stock in England fell to a record low in 2009-10, down 23% on 2008/9.

Just 128,680 net additional dwellings were provided last year compared with around 167,000 in 2008/9. This figure is even lower than the previous record low of 130,510. Fewer net additional dwellings were supplied in the 2009-10 financial year than in the previous year in every English region. The North West saw the largest annual decrease (38 per cent), followed by the South East (32 per cent).
new build data

The figures were published by the DCLG just a day after the current Government announced large cuts to housing budgets in their spending review. House builders across the country have been warning the Coalition that action is needed to halt the decline and avoid deepening the housing crisis.

They have warned that having scrapped housing targets five months ago there has not been a quick enough introduction of the promised national planning framework and house building incentive –The New Homes Bonus.

This hiatus has been exacerbated by falling mortgage availability and yesterday’s announcement that Government housing funding has been slashed has added to fears.

Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman of the HBF, said,

“There is no doubt that the previous planning system was not succeeding in delivering enough homes – but housing delivery, crucial to solving the housing crisis, is not yet increasing and in many areas has actually fallen.
“These figures reveal the extent of the housing supply problem and the need for real action now – cutting red tape and implementing incentives so we can build the homes the country needs.”

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