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New homes planned in UK highest since 2007

By Philip Smith

Highest level of housebuilding in the UK in 13 years, yet figure is still way short of the 300,000 annual target

The number of new homes registered in the UK last year rose to its highest level for 13 years, but is still short of the government target.

In 2019, 161,022 homes were registered, up 1 per cent on the previous period, yet still below the 300,000 new homes the government wants to see built each year; the target date for that is by 2025.

According to the housing charity Shelter, the last time the UK saw that level of building was when local authorities were responsible for the social housing stock.

In the quarter July to September, social housing increased by 12 per cent compared to 16 per cent in the private housing market.

Builders need to register houses with warranty providers such as The National House Building Council (NHBC) before starting work. It takes around 15 months from registration to completion.

In total, said the NHBC, 43,578 new homes were registered in those three months, the highest third quarter total since 2007 – just before the start of the global financial crisis – when 49,520 new homes were registered. Only the north-west, east England, the Midlands and Wales saw registration numbers drop.

London saw the biggest increase helped by some large housing projects such as a £300m (€354m, $390m) development in Poplar with 1,500 planned homes, half of which will be social housing.

New housing projects across the UK include the Commonwealth Games athletes village in Birmingham, which will be converted into 1,400 homes after the 2022 games, 6,500 homes at a former army barracks near Cambridge and 518 in Bexleyheath, Kent.

The property firm Jones Lang LaSalle predicts house prices are set to rise 14.8 per cent by 2024.

FURTHER READING: UK Housing market poised for spring revival

FURTHER READING: UK mortgage approvals at their highest since 2009

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