Annual housing supply in England saw a year-on-year increase of 9% between 2018 and 2019 reaching 241,130 net additional dwellings, latest data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has shown.
The was made up of 213,660 new build homes, 29,260 from change of use between non-domestic and residential and 5,220 from conversions between houses and flats.
It also consisted of 940 alternative accommodation including caravans and house boats which were offset by 7,940 demolitions.
Andy Sommerville, director at Search Acumen, said: “The net increase in housing stock could be seen as a proxy barometer for the nation’s economic outlook.
“You don’t have to be a meteorologist to know we aren’t in the sunlit uplands, but rays of sunshine are starting to break through.
“Figures from the last 10 years show that following a substantial slump in the aftermath of the economic downturn, additional housing supply has been steadily climbing by nearly 15% on average per year between 2012-2017.
“A dip between 2017 and 2018 – precipitated no doubt by the looming Brexit thunderhead – seems to have been overcome, and we’re now back to a 9% annual increase.
“Fortunately, the government has also woken up to the need to address Britain’s housing shortage in part through technological innovation.
“This includes implementing data-driven solutions to enable housebuilders to better identify the best areas to build on.
“We may not be home and dry yet but at least we stand a better chance of getting a roof over our heads.”
Some 14,107 of the net additions from change of use were through permitted development rights.
These comprised of 12,032 additional dwellings from former offices, 883 from agricultural buildings, 199 from storage buildings, 69 from light industrial buildings and 924 from other non-domestic buildings.
Andrew Southern, chairman of property developer Southern Grove, added: “More homes are being created across the country than at any time this century.
“This is a hugely promising sign for the industry which is under immense pressure to deliver more housing.
“There is finally some real momentum behind moves to boost housing stock and levels are now surging beyond their pre-crisis peak.
“The best news of all is that this 9% increase in net dwellings is being driven primarily by a similarly strong hike in new build completions, which are also growing at 9% annually.
“The industry must build on this success, and cannot rest on its laurels.
“The property market is crying out for more new homes, the demand is there and local authorities, particularly in the cities, need to be open to creative ways of encouraging more affordable schemes in high density areas.”