Government on track to miss house building target

Robyn Ashman

April 30, 2018

new homes

The government looks set to miss its manifesto pledge on house building by more than 80,000 homes after construction slowed in the first six months after the general election, research from HouseSimple.com has revealed.

The party renewed its 2015 commitment to build one million new homes by the end of 2020 during campaigning ahead of the 2017 general election held last June.

But according to MHCLG figures, the number of new homes started between mid-2015 – when the pledge began- and the end of 2017 was 386,160 and the number of new build starts has increased by 7,235 on average over the past two year.

But even if that rate of growth can be maintained, building will begin on only 529,950 homes between 2018 and 2020. This means the government will fail to meet its commitment, building 916,110 homes by the end of 2020 – a shortfall of 83,890.

Sam Mitchell, CEO of online estate agents HouseSimple.com, said: “It could be a case of better late than never if the rate of building growth is to be believed but it’s going to be a tall order to keep this going for the next seven years.

“The government’s main concern should be the anticipated failure to deliver on its most basic pledge to build one million homes by the end of 2020. If they fail, critics will simply paint the more lofty aspirations to build 300,000 homes a year as a piece of political theatre.

“This issue deserves to be more than a distraction for voters and it would help if the revolving door of housing ministers were to stop.

“The housing crisis is real and affordability problems play havoc with other parts of the economy as first-time buyers in particular are forced to part with significant chunks of their disposable income in order to get on the housing ladder.”

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