House-building in the West Midlands down 50% in last 6 years as housing crisis deepens

1 Nov, 2011

In West Midlands:

Just 42% of the houses needed for local families across the region are being builtThe number of families on the West Midlands’s housing waiting lists has increased by 64% in the last ten years
The average house price in West Midlands has more than doubled in the last ten years from £67,000 to £147,000
West Midlands’s current low levels of house-building mean that the region is missing out on around £50million of annual Government investment and the creation of more than 16,000 local jobs

New research released today reveals that house-building in the West Midlands has plummeted by around 50% over the past 6 years from 15,660 starts in 2005/6 to just 7,790 in 2010/11 while official government projections reveal that number of households in the area is expected to increase by 18,440 annually. 

Average house prices in the area have more than doubled in the last decade, from £67,000 in 2000 to £147,000 – almost 6x average income - in 2010.  A lower quartile house – those most often bought by first time buyers – costs £108,000 in the West Midlands meaning that young families need to find around £21,000 deposit to get a foot on the property ladder.

Meanwhile, pressure on the area’s social housing is growing with the waiting list rising 64% from 96,037 families in 2000 to almost 157,052 families last year. 

The report also reveals the financial rewards cities, towns and villages in the West Midlands 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 West Midlands were built to meet household projections the local authorities within would see around £50 million extra funding every year and 16,000 local jobs created.

Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman at HBF said today:

“West Midlands 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.”

For media enquiries, or to arrange an interview, please contact Steve Turner on 020 7960 1606 / 07919 307 760 or  

Follow us on Twitter! 

Notes to Editors:

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: 

Click here to link to full report

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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, home.

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.

West Midlands Housing Crisis Report - Oct 2011