Flawed house building figures ‘lose’ a town the size of Stevenage every year Failures presenting critics with ‘open goal’

19 Sep, 2016

Flawed house building figures ‘lose’ a town the size of Stevenage every year Failures presenting critics with ‘open goal’

The Government’s most publicised measure of house building excludes around a fifth of all new build completions every year, a report released today reveals. The HBF’s Ghost towns report  shows how flawed methodology and poor returns from Local Authorities mean around 30,000 new builds are not counted in the official numbers.

Analysis shows that the ill-termed ‘House Building Statistics’, released on a quarterly and annual basis by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) underreport new build completions in 75% of Local Authorities with an average of 153 new homes ‘lost’ in each of those areas.

More than half of new build homes in areas such as Birmingham, Liverpool, Leicester, Salford and many London Boroughs are completely unaccounted for in the quarterly series. As a result, a town equivalent to the size of Stevenage is being ‘lost’ every year, or, over the course of a Parliament, in which Government is targeting a million homes, a city larger than Nottingham, Coventry or Newcastle simply vanishes.

The confusingly named ‘Net Supply of Housing ‘data series, which is only published once a year and is drawn from more reliable sources more closely linked to the numbers Local Authorities use for determining their Council Tax Base show that more than 181,000 homes were added to the housing stock in 2014/15 – the last numbers available – of which 155,000 were new build, up 20% year on year.

At a time when the house building industry is rapidly increasing output, largely as a result of some significant Government policy successes the shortfall is presenting industry and Government critics, and those opposed to development generally, with ammunition to criticise.

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation said:

“Housebuilding has increased significantly in recent years but the continual publication and use of inaccurate statistics is painting a negative picture that is undermining the progress being made in tackling the housing shortage. The Government's housing policies and the industry are delivering, and it is incredibly frustrating that official statistics are not reflecting what is happening on the ground but instead presenting an open goal for critics."

The published data excluded:

At least 75% the London Boroughs of Brent, Wandsworth, Hammersmith and Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea,1,280 new homes in Birmingham (two-thirds of all new build completions)920 new homes in Liverpool (63% of all new build completions)640 new homes in Salford (half of all new build completions)570 new homes in Leicester (6 out of 10 new build completions)570 new homes in Sheffield (40% of all new build completions)400 new homes in Chester West & Chester (29% of all new build completions)

The report also puts forward additional reliable indicators of housing delivery, including the official Council Tax Base statistics, counting net additional homes at a later point in the year than that covered by the Net Supply statistics, and the issuance of Energy Performance Certificates for new build properties. Both report that construction levels vastly outstripping the wildly inaccurate ‘House Building Statistics’.

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For media enquiries, or to arrange an interview, please contact Steve Turner on 020 7960 1606 or 07919 307760. Steve.turner@hbf.co.uk     

Notes to editors

 The Home Builders Federation (HBF) is the representative body of the home building industry in England and Wales. The HBF’s member firms 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

DCLG’s ‘house building’ statistics under-report housing delivery in 243 local authorities across England. The more accurate statistics included in the Net Supply of Housing data series shows how, in some areas, as much as 8 out of every 10 new build housing completions is going uncounted in official statistics.

Area Completions reported by DCLG 'House Building' Series New Build completions from DCLG Net Supply Series Percentage of new homes excluded Number of homes excluded
England 124,520 155,080 20% 30,560
Birmingham 660 1,940 66% 1,280
Brent 310 1,560 80% 1,250
Liverpool 550 1,470 63% 920
Lewisham 490 1,390 65% 900
Hammersmith and Fulham 210 1,070 80% 860
Kensington and Chelsea 180 1,010 82% 830
Wandsworth 240 960 75% 720
Salford 670 1,310 49% 640
Leicester 380 950 60% 570
Sheffield 850 1,420 40% 570
Sandwell 370 860 57% 490
Manchester 900 1,370 34% 470
Ealing 390 830 53% 440
City of Bristol 460 900 49% 440
Gateshead 220 650 66% 430
Warwick 160 560 71% 400
Peterborough UA 770 1,170 34% 400
Cheshire West and Chester UA 970 1,370 29% 400
Bury 140 520 73% 380
Bexley 380 760 50% 380
Coventry 710 1,090 35% 380
Basildon 320 690 54% 370
Cheshire East 890 1,250 29% 360
Kingston upon Hull 510 860 41% 350
Cornwall UA 1,880 2,230 16% 350
Newham 1,560 1,890 17% 330
Swale 160 480 67% 320
South Norfolk 600 910 34% 310
Nottingham 180 480 63% 300
Hillingdon 240 530 55% 290
Mid Sussex 380 660 42% 280
Milton Keynes 1,070 1,350 21% 280
Reading 80 350 77% 270
Dudley 390 660 41% 270
East Riding of Yorkshire 400 660 39% 260
Shropshire UA 670 930 28% 260
Brighton and Hove 150 400 63% 250
Selby 340 590 42% 250
Hackney 920 1,170 21% 250
Fenland 330 570 42% 240
Kingston upon Thames 170 400 58% 230
Sefton 280 510 45% 230
Vale of White Horse 440 670 34% 230
Southwark 1,050 1,280 18% 230
West Oxfordshire 130 350 63% 220
Ipswich 220 440 50% 220
St. Helens 340 560 39% 220
Stratford-on-Avon 410 630 35% 220
Uttlesford 270 480 44% 210
Tewkesbury 360 570 37% 210
Doncaster 580 790 27% 210
Aylesbury Vale 1,100 1,310 16% 210
Harrow 100 300 67% 200
Solihull 430 630 32% 200
Cherwell 570 770 26% 200
Bradford 750 950 21% 200
Croydon 930 1,130 18% 200
Calderdale 220 410 46% 190
Medway 300 490 39% 190
Nuneaton and Bedworth 220 400 45% 180
Isle of Wight 330 510 35% 180
Newcastle-under-Lyme 350 530 34% 180
North East Derbyshire 100 270 63% 170
Swindon 370 540 31% 170
North Somerset 430 600 28% 170
Taunton Deane 580 750 23% 170
Barking and Dagenham 800 970 18% 170
Halton 310 470 34% 160
Herefordshire Unitary Authority 310 470 34% 160
Stoke-on-Trent 320 480 33% 160
Malvern Hills 90 240 63% 150
Shepway 110 260 58% 150
Staffordshire Moorlands 140 290 52% 150
West Berkshire 320 470 32% 150
North Tyneside 340 490 31% 150
East Hertfordshire 340 490 31% 150
South Cambridgeshire 720 870 17% 150
Cheltenham 70 210 67% 140
Rushmoor 110 250 56% 140
South Staffordshire 130 270 52% 140
Preston 160 300 47% 140
North East Lincolnshire 180 320 44% 140
Wirral 260 400 35% 140
Westminster 300 440 32% 140
East Lindsey 310 450 31% 140
Stroud 440 580 24% 140
Cannock Chase 120 250 52% 130
West Lancashire 220 350 37% 130
Wellingborough 240 370 35% 130
Wigan 340 470 28% 130
South Somerset 560 690 19% 130
Central Bedfordshire 1,310 1,440 9% 130
Gravesham 50 170 71% 120
Rutland UA 130 250 48% 120
Worthing 240 360 33% 120
Newark and Sherwood 250 370 32% 120
East Staffordshire 250 370 32% 120
West Lindsey 260 380 32% 120
Mendip 460 580 21% 120
Knowsley 480 600 20% 120
East Devon 920 1,040 12% 120
Barnet 1,180 1,300 9% 120
Rossendale 110 220 50% 110
Braintree 230 340 32% 110
Broadland 270 380 29% 110
Scarborough 280 390 28% 110
Worcester 290 400 28% 110
Wolverhampton 450 560 20% 110
Wealden 510 620 18% 110
North Hertfordshire 60 160 63% 100
Sutton 210 310 32% 100
Dover 220 320 31% 100
Ashford 250 350 29% 100
Kirklees 360 460 22% 100
Havant 390 490 20% 100
Sedgemoor 410 510 20% 100
Chelmsford 460 560 18% 100
Wokingham 510 610 16% 100
Sevenoaks 110 200 45% 90
Welwyn Hatfield 180 270 33% 90
Hambleton 190 280 32% 90
Rochdale 220 310 29% 90
Mid Devon 230 320 28% 90
Tameside 340 430 21% 90
Maidstone 440 530 17% 90
Arun 460 550 16% 90
Warrington UA 580 670 13% 90
Walsall 670 760 12% 90
Chesterfield 100 180 44% 80
St Albans 120 200 40% 80
Trafford 170 250 32% 80
Ryedale 190 270 30% 80
Tunbridge Wells 200 280 29% 80
Wyre 200 280 29% 80
Blaby 320 400 20% 80
Darlington 330 410 20% 80
Ashfield 370 450 18% 80
Basingstoke and Deane 380 460 17% 80
Charnwood 630 710 11% 80
Wychavon 750 830 10% 80
Test Valley 790 870 9% 80
Plymouth UA 800 880 9% 80
Hyndburn 40 110 64% 70
Oadby and Wigston 50 120 58% 70
Oxford 50 120 58% 70
Rushcliffe 190 260 27% 70
Stafford 280 350 20% 70
Forest of Dean 310 380 18% 70
South Tyneside 330 400 18% 70
Torridge 340 410 17% 70
Slough 360 430 16% 70
South Ribble 400 470 15% 70
East Hampshire 480 550 13% 70
Chorley 630 700 10% 70
Wakefield 1,030 1,100 6% 70
Brentwood 60 120 50% 60
Christchurch 80 140 43% 60
North Dorset 130 190 32% 60
Watford 130 190 32% 60
Harrogate 140 200 30% 60
Amber Valley 170 230 26% 60
Portsmouth UA 250 310 19% 60
Canterbury 260 320 19% 60
Rugby 330 390 15% 60
Cotswold 370 430 14% 60
St Edmundsbury 370 430 14% 60
Dartford 470 530 11% 60
Newcastle upon Tyne 610 670 9% 60
Telford and Wrekin UA 1,030 1,090 6% 60
Epsom and Ewell 110 160 31% 50
Erewash 140 190 26% 50
Rochford 240 290 17% 50
Suffolk Coastal 350 400 13% 50
Reigate and Banstead 370 420 12% 50
Northampton 620 670 7% 50
Colchester 650 700 7% 50
Chiltern 60 100 40% 40
Tandridge 100 140 29% 40
North Warwickshire 140 180 22% 40
Redditch 230 270 15% 40
North Lincolnshire UA 270 310 13% 40
Derby UA 290 330 12% 40
Daventry 300 340 12% 40
Wyre Forest 300 340 12% 40
Bolton 310 350 11% 40
Hart 320 360 11% 40
South Northamptonshire 320 360 11% 40
Middlesbrough UA 430 470 9% 40
Windsor and Maidenhead UA 490 530 8% 40
Northumberland UA 1,190 1,230 3% 40
Maldon 30 60 50% 30
Richmond upon Thames 40 70 43% 30
Surrey Heath 50 80 38% 30
Blackpool UA 70 100 30% 30
Broxtowe 70 100 30% 30
Stevenage 90 120 25% 30
Islington 100 130 23% 30
New Forest 120 150 20% 30
Craven 120 150 20% 30
Forest Heath 130 160 19% 30
Luton UA 140 170 18% 30
East Dorset 150 180 17% 30
Castle Point 180 210 14% 30
Lichfield 200 230 13% 30
North Devon 250 280 11% 30
South Lakeland 270 300 10% 30
North Norfolk 290 320 9% 30
Tonbridge and Malling 450 480 6% 30
Stockton-on-Tees UA 460 490 6% 30
Bath and North East Somerset UA 490 520 6% 30
Barrow-in-Furness 60 80 25% 20
Richmondshire 70 90 22% 20
Adur 70 90 22% 20
Hastings 100 120 17% 20
High Peak 110 130 15% 20
Southend-on-Sea UA 140 160 13% 20
Broxbourne 140 160 13% 20
Norwich 170 190 11% 20
Waverley 180 200 10% 20
Blackburn with Darwen UA 190 210 10% 20
Fylde 190 210 10% 20
Eastleigh 260 280 7% 20
Poole UA 280 300 7% 20
Thanet 300 320 6% 20
Ribble Valley 300 320 6% 20
Bracknell Forest UA 320 340 6% 20
Dacorum 320 340 6% 20
Exeter 350 370 5% 20
Breckland 470 490 4% 20
Waveney 110 120 8% 10
Lincoln 130 140 7% 10
Rother 160 170 6% 10
Crawley 160 170 6% 10
Gosport 170 180 6% 10
Bassetlaw 190 200 5% 10
York UA 200 210 5% 10
Bolsover 240 250 4% 10
Chichester 410 420 2% 10
East Northamptonshire 430 440 2% 10
South Oxfordshire 440 450 2% 10
Gloucester 470 480 2% 10
Waltham Forest 550 560 2% 10
South Gloucestershire UA 1,220 1,230 1% 10

 

HBF Ghost Towns Report - Sept 2016

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