by Mark Johnston
House Building Begins to Rise…
In 2008 house building fell to its lowest peacetime rate since the 1920s.
Britain on a whole has been falling woefully short of building the homes needed for decades. There is huge pent up demand which is just not being met from first time buyers and from second steppers looking to get on the next rung of the ladder.
Successive governments have failed to get on top of our housing crisis. Years of insufficient investment in building new homes has left many people unable to buy or rent the homes they need to get on in life.
However, according to the government the number of new homes being built in England rose by 6 per cent in the three months to June.
Mike Jones, chairman of the Local Government Association’s (LGA) environment and housing board, said: “Councils are still approving nine in every 10 planning applications we receive. The challenge now lies in getting more new homes built.”
On an annual basis, construction work started on 110,530 new homes, a 7 per cent increase on the previous year.
The number of homes being built in the UK has reached its highest in five years, according to industry figures.
A total of 67,422 new homes were registered in the first half of this year with the National House Building Council (NHBC), which was the highest such figure since 2008.
National House Building Council (NHBC) commercial director Richard Tamayo said: “Our latest registration statistics show an encouraging broad based recovery.”
Simon Rubinsohn, Chief Economist for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), stated that the number has jumped to their highest level since springtime in 2010.
It seems that these figures were boosted for the first time by the Help to Buy scheme, which started at the beginning of April.
Figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government showed that seasonally adjusted housing starts were now 73 per cent above the trough reached at the depths of the slump in March 2009 but still 40 per cent below the peak in early 2007, before the onset of the financial crisis.
But critics warned that the number of new homes being built is still far smaller than the country needs, and lower than it was before the recession.
Matthew Pointon, a property economist at Capital Economics, said “Private house building is continuing to recover as builders respond to an increase in demand for new homes. But while the government will see this as a vindication of the first stage of their Help to Buy scheme, their interventions have also allowed builders to raise their prices. That is good news for house builders’ profit margins, but it is not such good news for household budgets.”
All this said some industry insiders feel that these figures confirm that the housing market has turned a corner since the end of the unsustainable housing boom, with developers looking to build and aspiring homeowners looking to buy.
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