Home-building levels have risen by more than 80% in the past 10 years but by just 1% between 2018 and 2019.

The number of new homes being built each year has soared by more than 80% during the past decade, but continues to fall short of Government targets.

A total of 1.4 million new homes were registered between 2010 and 2019, according to the National House-Building Council (NHBC), which provides warranties on new-build homes.

In 2019, 161,022 properties were registered with the group, the highest level since 2007 and 81% more than than a decade ago.

But between 2018 and 2019 the number of new homes being built edged ahead by just 1%, while figures continue to be significantly below the estimated 240,000 to 340,000 new homes needed each year to keep pace with demand.

At the same time, all of 2019’s increase was seen in the affordable homes sector, which registered a 13% year-on-year rise, while registrations for properties in the private sector actually fell by 3%.

Why is this happening?

The Government has put a range of measures in place to help boost building numbers after the industry was hit hard during the financial crisis.

Initiatives including streamlining the planning permission procedure, creating an infrastructure fund to support new developments and introducing new sources of funding for small and medium-sized construction firms.

The sector has also benefitted from the Help to Buy equity loan scheme, which enables people to buy a property with just a 5% deposit, as it only applies to new-build properties.

But the industry continues to be dogged by issues, including a shortage of building materials and skilled workers, as well as a lack of suitable sites for homes.

Welcoming guests to a new home

Who does it affect?

London saw the biggest increase in new homes being built in 2019, with registrations in the capital soaring by 37%.

There was a rise in both affordable homes, which were up 42% year-on-year, and private sector properties, which jumped by 33%.

Strong gains were also recorded in the West Midlands, where new-build registrations rose by 17% and Eastern England, which saw an 8% rise.

But the number of new homes being built fell in all other regions of the country apart from Scotland, where levels were broadly unchanged.

The fall in registrations was biggest in Yorkshire and Humberside and Wales, which both saw a 12% drop, while figures were 11% lower in the South West.

Across the UK as a whole, the mix of homes being built was split broadly evenly between detached properties, apartments and semi-detached homes at 29%, 29% and 27% respectively.

This continues the trend seen since 2016, when developers started to prioritise building larger homes over apartments.

What’s the background?

The NHBC also recorded a strong increase in the construction of properties in the so-called build-to-rent sector.

These properties are high quality, professionally managed homes that are built specifically for renters and have corporate landlords and longer tenancies, as well as typically offering a range of extra facilities like in-house gyms.

Registrations for build-to-rent homes soared by 57% during the year to stand at 4,788, 281% more than when the group first began to keep data on the sector in 2015.

Build-to-rent has benefitted from government policy changes, such as the revised National Planning Policy Framework, under which local authorities have been asked to identify how many new rental homes their area needs to help them plan for rising demand.

It has also been helped by Permitted Development Rights, which enable certain buildings, such as offices or factories, to be converted in residential properties without the need for planning permission.

Top 3 takeaways

  • The number of homes being built each year has soared by more than 80% during the past decade 

  • A total of 1.4 million new homes were registered between 2010 and 2019, with 161,022 homes registered in 2019

  • But figures continue to be significantly below the estimated 240,000 to 340,000 new homes needed each year to keep pace with demand

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