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Facts & Statistics

HOUSING CRISIS STATISTICS

  • In 2012/13 England had one of the lowest house building rates since 1923 – there were just 108,190 completions.
  • Affordability has plummeted – in the last 40 years the average house price to salary ratio has almost doubled; the price of the average home purchased is now almost 7x the average annual salary of the buyer.
  • First time buyers are at record lows.  Eight out of ten first-time buyers require financial help from family or friends, and the average age of unassisted first-time buyers has soared.
  • Close to a fifth of women and a third of men aged between 20 and 34 are still living at home.
  • Social Housing Waiting Lists have almost doubled in the last 10 years to 1.85 million households; around 5 million people are waiting for a home.
  • 76,000 children live in temporary accommodation and 250,000 families in social housing are in over-crowded accommodation.

 

HOUSE BUILDING STATISTICS

  • We need to build at least 220,000 homes a year in order to meet new household projections.  Household projections predict the number of new households that will form over a given time period, in this case between 2011 – 2021.
  • This figure does not take account of the historical undersupply of homes.  In the country there remains a backlog of pent up demand.  Building 220,000 homes a year should be viewed as a minimum figure, the baseline number of homes the country needs on an annual basis.
  • There were 101,640 homes started in 2012-13.
  • There were 107,820 homes completed in 2012-13.

 

Reasons to buy a new home

  • 91% of new home owners would recommend their builder to a friend.
  • 91% were satisfied or very satisfied with the overall quality of their home.
  • Since the introduction of the Customer Satisfaction Survey 7 years ago there has been year on year improvement in the industry.
  • High build quality.
  • Cheaper to run.
  • Designed for modern living.
  • Environmentally friendly.
  • 10 year NHBC warranty.

 

Top 10 house building companies in 2012-13 (by completions)

Rank

House Builder

Units Completed

1

Barratt Developments

11171

2

Taylor Wimpey

10180

3

Persimmon

9360

4

Bellway

4922

5

Redrow

2626

6

Berkeley Group

2544

7

Galliford Try

2170

8

Bovis Homes

2045

9

Willmott Dixon

2000

10

Bloor Homes

1755

 

A table showing the number of completions in England and Wales over the last 10 years.

 

Financial Year

England

Wales

2003-04

143,960

8,300

2004-05

155,890

8,490

2005-06

163,400

8,250

2006-07

167,680

9,330

2007-08

170,610

8,660

2008-09

140,990

7,120

2009-10

119,910

6,170

2010-11

107,870

5,510

2011-12

117,600

5,580

2012-13

107,820

n/a

 

PLANNING PERMISSIONS

The table provides a breakdown of new building planning approvals since 2010 in England and Wales.

               

England

Wales

Q1 2010

40,453

1,069

Q2 2010

32,750

1,019

Q3 2010

31,553

771

Q4 2010

29,387

1,275

Q1 2011

33,450

2,099

Q2 2011

25,171

1,320

Q3 2011

29,059

963

Q4 2011

27,732

984

Q1 2012

36,761

1,376

Q2 2012

24,872

1,131

Q3 2012

33,881

586

Q4 2012

45,041

1,237

 

POLITICS

DCLG

  • Secretary of State – Eric Pickles
  • Housing Minister – Kris Hopkins
  • Planning Minister – Nick Boles
  • Parliamentary Under Secretary – Brandon Lewis
  • Parliamentary Under Secretary – Stephen Williams

 

Shadow

  • Secretary of State – Hilary Benn
  • Housing Minister – Emma Reynolds
  • Planning Minister – Roberta Blackman Woods

 

DCLG Select Committee

  • Clive Betts MP (Chair)
  • Bob Blackman MP
  • Simon Danczuk MP
  • Mary Glindon MP
  • David Heyes MP
  • James Morris MP
  • Mark Pawsey MP
  • John Pugh MP
  • Andy Sawford MP
  • John Stevenson MP
  • Heather Wheeler MP

HELP TO BUY

In the Budget the Government announced its two-pronged Help to Buy scheme – this aims to address the lack of mortgage finance in the market and increase supply by increasing effective demand.

The first part of Help to Buy – Equity Loan – has been hugely successful in boosting output.  In the first 5 months it has helped 12,500 people realise their ambition of home ownership. The scheme is on course to deliver the planned 74,000 units over 3 years.  There has been real appetite for this part of Help to Buy and housing starts are increasing in response.

The second part of Help to Buy – Mortgage Guarantee – will be introduced to the market in January 2014.  It is applicable to both new builds and second hand homes.  At the moment it is unclear what scheme take up will be as we still await details of the conditions and lender fees that will apply.  Clearly it has the potential to assist credit-worthy purchasers boost sales across the market, and as a part of that new build should benefit. 

NEW BUY

Developers and the government jointly guarantee a proportion of the property for the lender.  This means those who can afford a 5% deposit are able to bridge the deposit gap and apply for a mortgage.  This lowers the risk for the lender and means more people can get on the housing ladder.  The scheme is aimed at first time buyers and is only for new build homes.

As of 31 March 2013 there had been 2,291 home purchases completed under the scheme and no losses had been incurred on the Government.

 

NATIONAL PLANNING POLICY FRAMEWORK

The major long-term constraint on house-building over the last two decades has been the lack of land with viable and deliverable planning permission.

The NPPF is helping. Since its introduction last year, our Housing Pipeline report has shown steady year on year increase in the number of permissions being granted. However, despite this improvement, consents remain below the level needed to meet national requirements. Increasingly too we are hearing about the problems developers are having with pre-commencement planning conditions. Such conditions are being used more frequently and if you can’t get your pre-commencement conditions signed off by the Local Authority you can’t start building. Delay over signing off conditions is increasingly becoming a significant issue and appears to be related to the staff resource that Local Authorities have.

 

PLANNING

1)     The countryside is already over developed/house building is concreting over the countryside.

The total area of the country which is developed is 10%.  Even in the South East (excluding London) only 12% of land is developed.  Of that developed area, a large proportion is parks, gardens and natural environments – in fact only around 2.27% of England is actually built on or ‘concreted over’.  Between 2000 and 2010, new housing accounted for just 0.13% of England’s land area.

2)    There are 700,000 empty homes in England – they should be used to meet housing need.

There are actually fewer than 260,000 homes that have been empty for 6 months or more – the others are normal temporary transactional vacancies.  In fact we have one of the lowest vacancy rates in Europe.  

3)    It’s not the planning system that is preventing building – it’s the economy.

While it is absolutely true that the general economic climate and current restrictions on credit have been a major factor in the housing market since late 2007, there can be no doubt that our historic undersupply of homes – over some 20 years at least – is a result of a planning system which has not been fir for purpose for some time – this was the conclusion of the Barker Review of housing supply back in 2004.

4)    Land-banking is the problem, not the planning system; the top 18 house builders have 300,000 consented plots which they should be building rather than sitting on.

While this may seem a large number it is scarcely more than we should be building in one year and only a two and a half years’ building pipeline even at today’s historically low construction rates.  And it is a constantly changing pool of permissions, not a fixed stock of undeveloped land – as permissioned sites are built out, new sites enter the pool.

Land is the house builders’ most important raw material.  Because it takes time – often many years – to acquire land, obtain planning permission and build out and sell all the homes on a site, a homebuilder must hold enough land to sustain business through a long and uncertain process.  Typically this is equivalent to around 3-4 years of production.  The key measure is land with detailed, implementable planning permission because this is the only land on which a home builder can legally build.

 

  • Land banks have fallen in total by 20% in the last five years and private sector- led house building sites by 25%.
  • 63% of individual plots in consented land banks are actually under construction; of the remaining plots more than half are economically unviable.
  • We estimate that just 72,000 consented plots are un-started and considered economically viable.

 

5)    There is more than enough brownfield land for housing which is needed.

The industry has been building 80% of its homes on brownfield land in recent years and is happy to build on brownfield sites where these are suitable and viable.  Not all brownfield sites are appropriate for housing, however, and local authorities may often wish to allocate them to other uses, including public open space and amenity.  Brownfield development is also often expensive and technically difficult meaning that such land may not be viable to develop.  And local opposition to brownfield development can be just as strong as for greenfield sites.

While some argue almost all housing could be built on brownfield land, the facts suggest otherwise.  Even with strongly pro-brownfield policies in the period 2000  to 2007(PPG3 brownfield first and sequential test), and a boom in inner-city and town centre development up to 2007, house builders’ annual use of brownfield land remained fairly stable.  However their use of greenfield land fell very sharply.

The latest National Land Use Database (from HCA) from 2009 show that there are 14,000ha of previously developed land vacant or derelict and ‘suitable for housing’ (judged by local authorities) – around 675,000 units worth.

This land will not be necessarily be viable and over a 20 year plan period would provide just 33,750 homes annually which is only around 15% of annual need (232,000 according to household projections).  This is all predicated on them being developable over 20 years and it is important to note there is also huge regional disparity – much of it is in the North West for instance.

For media enquiries, or to arrange an interview, please contact Steve Turner on 020 7960 1606 or email steve.turner@hbf.co.uk

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