31 May, 2011

New figures show why Government must stand firm on pro-growth commitments

HBF’s latest Housing Pipeline report forcibly demonstrates why Government must stand firm on its commitment to be pro-growth if it is to address the country’s acute housing crisis and reap the economic benefits.

Housing planning permissions granted in the first quarter again show a year-on-year fall and are now at around half the level of five years ago.

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, the report complied for HBF by Glenigan shows.

Last year saw the lowest number of homes built for 90 years as the country’s housing crisis escalated. The social effects are obvious; five million  people languish on Local Authority waiting lists, millions more live in over-crowded and substandard accommodation, whilst first-time buyers have all but disappeared – further stagnating the housing market.

The Government will soon be consulting on the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), probably the most important planning document since the Town and Country Planning Act of 1947. Ensuring the NPPF creates a framework in which more homes can be built is now vital if Government is to avert a deepening crisis and to see house building realise its potential to help boost Britain’s economic recovery.

Speaking today, Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman of the HBF, said;

“The figures again make depressing reading as they suggest a continuing and significant undersupply of homes, adding to the already serious social and economic implications of our housing crisis. Government will soon consult on the most important planning proposals since World War II. The figures we have published today clearly demonstrate why it has to get its planning framework right.

“Increasing house building to sustainable levels would help millions of people currently staying with relatives, sharing flats or in substandard accommodation. It would also give the country a huge economic boost, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. House builders and hundreds of companies in our supply chain are ready to go to work and build the homes the country desperately needs. Government must stand firm on its commitment to be pro-growth and create a framework in which Local Authorities across the country encourage the house-building we need.

Allan Wilén, Economic Director at Glenigan, who compile the report for HBF commented, “The modest rise in planning approvals during the first quarter has interrupted the downward trend in approvals seen during the previous nine months. However, whilst welcome, the number of dwellings approved is still down 17% down on the first quarter of 2010 and at 37,800 units only 58% of the average number of approvals seen prior to the credit crunch.”

- 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

Notes to editors

1. The Home Builders Federation (HBF) is the representative body of the home building industry in England and Wales. The HBF’s 300 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

2. With over 30 years experience, Glenigan is the genuine market leading provider of UK construction and civil engineering project, company and market information.

Part of the Insight Division of Emap Limited, one of the UK’s largest media businesses providing must-have information, magazines and events, Glenigan users enjoy small business intimacy combined with business security.

3. Click here to view the latest report. The Housing Pipeline report for Q2 2011 will be published around Aug 22;  and Q3 Nov 21.

4. Housing need figures based on DCLG Household Formation Projections. 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. The latest projections have reduced household growth by approximately 20,000 per year  compared with the previous, 2006-based projections.


5. Jobs Calculator:

1) Each home built creates 1.5 full-time jobs

Labour Needs of Extra Housing Input Professor Michael Ball

2) Increasing house-building by 130,000 units per year (to Government household projection levels) would create 195,000 jobs.

3) HBF estimates twice that number of jobs are created in the supply chain – close to 400,000 jobs.