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Homebuilding rose in the second quarter, but still falls short of government target

Christina Hoghton
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Christina Hoghton

New starts and completions have ticked up, but figures are still way below the government’s 300,000 homes a year target

The number of dwellings where building work has started on site was 51,730 in the second quarter of 2022, according to building control figures published by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities.

This marks a 21% increase when compared to the first quarter of the year, and a 15% year-on-year increase.

The number of new homes completed was 44,940, a 3% increase when compared to the previous quarter and 6% higher than the same quarter of last year.

Below target

But, while the quarterly figures show improvement, they are still way off the government’s own home building target of 300,000 a year.

Plus, the latest annual figures published for the year 2020/21 were just 216,490, an 11% fall on the previous year. The government has also estimated completions in the year to June 2022 at just 173,530.

Rhys Schofield, managing director at Belper-based Peak Money, explained: “If you cut through the numbers that look big on paper, the UK needs to build 340,000 new homes a year until 2031. The Government’s own target is 300,000 a year. These latest numbers all fall well short, meaning that house prices can only be forced in one direction. With the lack of urgency around housebuilding, having a place to call your home is becoming increasingly out of reach for many people.”

Malcolm Davidson, director of UK Moneyman, added: “One major worry is that our new PM seems against the very idea of housebuilding targets. Whatever your political persuasion, though, our population is growing exponentially but housebuilding hasn’t kept up and we have seen property prices rise in the region of 20% since Covid alone. This is simply not sustainable if we want to continue to be a nation of homeowners.

“What we need is a clear vision and plan, utilising all available new technologies to enable the UK to embark upon a long period of building the homes we desperately need.”