Housebuilding dips further as report calls on Government to build 50% more

Private house building work dropped for a second successive month according to the Office for National Statistics

Output in the construction industry dropped 3.5% in May compared with April for private house building. However private work is still up 3.7% on a year ago.

it comes as a new report from the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee called on the government to vastly increase the number of homes they are trying to build, stating David Cameron’s target of 250,000 a year is insufficient with 300,000 more needed.

The report simply titled “Building more homes” criticised the target, what they perceive as a flawed focus on home ownership, and the inability of the private sector to fulfil the demand themselves.

The committee also called for council tax to be applied earlier in order to dissuade builders from holding on to it without doing anything with it, a practice known as “Land banking”

The report stated: “The Government’s target of one million new homes by 2020 is not based on a robust analysis. To address the housing crisis at least 300,000 new homes are needed annually for the foreseeable future. One million homes by 2020 will not be enough.

“To achieve its target the Government must recognise the inability of the private sector, as currently incentivised, to build the number of homes needed.

“The Government’s focus on home ownership neglects other tenures; those on the cusp of ownership are helped and those who need secure, low cost rental accommodation are not.

“Local authorities and housing associations must be incentivised and enabled to make a much greater contribution to the overall supply of new housing. Without this contribution it will not be possible to build the number of new homes required. The likely reduction in the housing benefit bill over the long-term is a further reason to increase the supply of social housing.”

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