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Policy & Activities

09 March, 2012

Fewer than half of the houses needed being built in the East of England as housing crisis deepens

In the Eastern region:

  • Just 44% of the houses needed for local families are being built
  • Planning permissions have collapsed and are down 37% in the last 5 years
  • The number of families on the East of England’s housing waiting lists has increased by 69% - 65,000 more - in the last ten years
  • The average house price has more than doubled in the last ten years from £86,950 to £195,000
  • The low levels of house-building mean that the region is missing out on around £157million of annual Government investment and the creation of more than 50,000 local jobs 

New research released today reveals that house-building in the Eastern region has plummeted by around 32% over the past six years from 20,840 starts in 2006/7 to just 14,120 in 2010/11, while official government projections reveal that number of households in the area is expected to increase by 32,240 annually – more than twice the current house-building level. 

Planning permissions which can indicate the future levels of house-building do not show much improvement. Since 2006/7 the number of planning permissions granted in the East of England has fallen 37% from 23,262 to just 14,596.

Average house prices in the area have more than doubled in the last decade, from £86,950 in 2000 to £195,000 – 7.5 times the average income - in 2010.  A lower quartile house – those most often bought by first time buyers – costs £145,000 in the East of England 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 rising 69% from 94,846 families in 2001 to 160,267 families in 2011. 

The report also reveals the financial rewards cities, towns and villages in the East of England 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 region increase significantly at a time when grants across all service areas are being slashed.

If enough homes in the East were built to meet household projections the local authorities within would see around £157million extra funding every year and more than 27,000 direct local jobs created and more than 50,000 including the supply chain.

Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman at HBF said today:

“The East of England 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. 

“On top of the obvious social benefits - increasing affordability and easing the pressure on social housing waiting lists - building the homes the area needs would create thousands of local jobs and bring in millions of pounds from central government.”

-ENDS-

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 

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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 than 34,000 new homes were approved in Q1 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 almost £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.
  • In February, Local Authorities learnt for the first time how much they will receive from developing. Some will gain over £4M in New Homes Bonus whilst others will receive nothing. The figures also show that some Local Authorities will in future be missing out on up to £27M a year by scrapping previous plans for homes or not building enough to meet the needs of their communities.
  • 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 Or; 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.

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