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Media

28 June, 2012

Bath housing crisis set to deepen as plans for 10,000 homes are slashed

In Bath and North-East Somerset:

  • Planned house-building slashed by 10,000 – almost 50%
  • Just  68% of the homes needed for local families are being built 
  • Shortfall is costing 400 local jobs and around £3.3M annually in Gvmnt funding
  • No of families on social housing waiting lists has almost trebled in 10 years
  • Average house prices have almost doubled in 10 years from £120k to £230k

New research released today reveals that planned housing numbers in Bath and North East Somerset have been reduced by 48% following the scrapping of the Regional Spatial Strategies and the introduction of the new planning system. This reduction is around 515 homes per year which, over the 20 year period of the Regional Spatial Strategies, amounts to more than 10,000 homes.

These planned housing numbers are also 31% lower than the government’s projected household growth for Bath and North East Somerset which, added to the historic shortfall of new homes, will create huge pressure on local housing supply. 

Meanwhile, the report reveals that house-building in the South West region as a whole has plummeted by around 35% over the past 6 years while planning permissions – a good indicator of future supply - have fallen by a similar amount. In Bath and North East Somerset official government projections reveal that the number of households in the area is expected to increase by 800 annually – one and a half times the current house-building level. 

Average house prices in the area have almost doubled in the last decade, from £120,000 in 2000/01 to £230,000 – more than 8.5x average income - in 2010/11.  A lower quartile priced house – those most often bought by first time buyers – costs £167,375 in Bath and North East Somerset meaning that young families need to find around £30,000 deposit to get a foot on the property ladder.

Meanwhile, pressure on the area’s social housing is growing with the waiting list almost trebling from 3,521 families in 2001 to 10,344 families last year. 

The report also examines the financial rewards Bath and North East Somerset and its towns and villages would receive from building the homes it clearly needs. The Government’s new incentive for house building, the New Homes Bonus, could see funding for the area increase significantly at a time when cuts are being made to budgets across most service areas.

If enough homes in the Bath and North East Somerset were built to meet household projections the local authority would see around £3.3 million extra funding every year and almost 400 local jobs created.

Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman at HBF said today:

“Bath and North East Somerset is suffering from a serious under supply of housing. It is crucial that more homes are built, particularly for younger families and first time buyers. It is concerning that the local authority has reduced its housing targets by a half and important that they recognise the responsibility they have to communities in their area.

“On top of the obvious social benefits - increasing affordability and easing the pressure on social housing waiting lists - building the homes Bath & North East Somerset need would create hundreds of local jobs and bring in millions of pounds from central government.”

Download

click here to open South West Housing Crisis Report

For media enquiries, or to arrange an interview, please contact Steve Turner on 020 7960 1606 / 07919 307 760 or steve.turner@hbf.co.uk

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Home Builders Federation (HBF) is the representative body of the home building industry in England and Wales. HBF’s members account for some 80% of all new homes built in England and Wales in any one year, and include companies of all sizes, ranging from multi-national, household names through regionally based businesses to small local companies: www.hbf.co.uk

Useful stats

  • Permissions for fewer just 36,761 new homes were approved in Q1 2012 in England, compared with 40,000 in Q1 2010 and against a quarterly housing requirement of nearly 60,000 based on the Government’s household projections. In Q1 2006 over 60,000 permissions were granted by local authorities
  • 1.8 million families (5 million people) are currently on Local Authority waiting lists in England
  • FTBs aged between 22 and 29 have to save 45% of their take home pay every month for five years to afford a deposit
  • The number of households is projected to grow from 21.7m in 2008 to 27.5m in 2033, a rise of 5.8m (27%), or 232,000 per year. (DCLG Household Formation Projections.)
  • Jobs Calculator:
    • Each home built creates 1.5 full-time jobs -Michael Ball report
    • Increasing house-building by 130,000 units per year (to Government household projection levels) would create 195,000 jobs.
    • HBF estimates twice that number of jobs are created in the supply chain – close to 400,000 jobs.
  • Over the last three years, home builders have invested more than £1billion in shared equity schemes to help maintain housing construction whilst helping close to 30,000 first time buyers get a foot on the ladder.
  • HBF’s  Housing Market Report (May’11) shows that 91% of house builders now see the lack of mortgage availability as a ‘major constraint;’ on their ability to sell, and thus build, homes
  • According to Government figures, even in its current crisis state, housing supply accounts for around 3% of UK GDP and provides between 1 and 1.25 million jobs in the UK.
  • The number of new homes completed in England in 2010 slumped 13% on the previous year – itself the lowest peacetime number on record since 1923.
  • 18% of females and 29% males aged 20-34 still live with parents – ONS social trends - over 1 million women and 1.7 million men aged between 20 and 34 are still living at home
  • Whilst over 80% of people believe Britain needs more homes, particularly for first time buyers, only 50% of people would welcome more homes in their area - NHMB survey, Nov 2010.
South West Housing Crisis Report - June 2012
(Size: 389 K, Type: pdf, last modified: 07.03.17)