Housing pipeline report - Q1 2023 report - Published July 2023
The downward trend in approvals during 2022 continued into 2023 Q1. At 3,037, the number of housing projects granted planning permission in the first quarter fell by 11% against the final quarter of 2022 and was 20% lower than a year ago. This follows a 9% decline in the number of approvals during 2022.
Overall the number of units approved also fell during 2022, slipping 11% to 326,027. The number of units approved fell back 17% during the first quarter of this year and at 71,136 units was 24% lower than a year ago. The decline in approvals during the first quarter was widespread, with larger private and social housing projects and smaller-sized sites all declining.
At 64,662 units, housing schemes of ten or more units accounted for 91% of approved units and dropped by 17% against the fourth quarter and were 24% down on a year ago. The remaining 9% of units were on smaller new build projects of up to nine units including self-build schemes together with homes included within non-residential projects and from the conversion of non-residential properties.
At 2,008 the number of private sector housing projects (schemes of 3 or more units) securing approval was 10% down on the fourth quarter and was 19% lower than a year earlier. Fewer larger schemes securing approval prompted a sharper fall in the number of units granted planning permission. At 62,587 the number of units on private sector projects was 16% down on the fourth quarter and 21% lower than a year ago.
At 133, the number of social housing projects (of three or more units) slipped by 7% against the fourth quarter and was 33% lower than a year ago. At 7,495, the number of units was 25% down on the preceding quarter and 41% lower than a year earlier.
Regionally, the north of England was a bright spot during the first quarter, with the number of units approved rising in the North East (up 64%), North West (+8%) and Yorkshire & the Humber (+23%). Unit approvals were also 23% higher in the West Midlands than during the final quarter of 2022. All other parts of the country saw a decline against the previous quarter. The sharpest declines were seen across southern England and in Wales. Unit approvals in the East of England, London, South East, South Wales and Wales declined by 33%, 36%, 26%, 23% and 36% respectively. Approvals were also 15% lower in Scotland and 9% down in the East Midlands.