Housing Pipeline Report Q4 2023 - Published March 2024

13 Mar, 2024

Housing Pipeline Report Q4 2023 - Published March 2024

The latest Housing Pipeline Report figures have demonstrated that both the number of units and the number of sites gaining planning permission have continued to plummet.

The number of units gaining planning permission in England in the year to December 2023 dropped to the lowest for any 12 month period since 2014. At under 233,000, the number of units approved in 2023 dropped 20% on 2022, 27% on 2021 and was down 30% compared to pre-pandemic levels.

Following a similar pattern, the number of sites that gained planning permission in 2023 dropped to the lowest level for a 12 month period since the Housing Pipeline Report started recording in 2006. The number of sites granted permission in 2023 was 10,527, a 16% decrease on 2022 and a 23% decrease on 2021. The number of projects being approved is almost half the number that were typically being approved each year before the pandemic, when housing delivery was increasing year on year.

Looking regionally, southern regions have seen the most severe impacts of the combination of anti-development measures. While all regions are seeing a general downward trajectory, the number of units approved in 2023 was the lowest since 2015 in the South East, the lowest since 2011 in London and the lowest since 2012 in the South West. Year on year, each of these regions saw fall of 13%, 34% and 18% respectively.

While some regions saw a slight increase in the number of units approved in 2023 as compared to 2022, across the country there were significant dips when compared to 2021, prior to the end of Help to Buy, the mini-budget from which interest rates have never recovered, and the Government’s capitulation to the NIMBY faction of MPs on the removal of mandatory housing targets. Unit approvals for the North of England dropped 18% for 2023 compared to 2021, 23% for the Midlands and 28% for the South of England.

The falls coincide with fall in the number of energy performance certificates (EPCs) being registered for new build properties. While EPCs in the year to December 2023 dropped 9% nationally, the south of England saw at 13% drop.

Both planning permissions and EPC registrations are key indicators for housing supply, tracking the same trajectories, and so these consistent drops are concerning for our housing delivery in the coming months and years.


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