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Georgia Owen

Housebuilders doubtful over long-term supply levels

Georgia Owen


TC 090617 houses

A recent survey has indicated that housebuilders are doubtful that the high levels of supply can be maintained.This is despite recent research that indicated during the year to April 2017, England saw the housing supply reach 200,000.  Respondents to Knight Frank’s yearly housebuilder survey believe that this level can only be maintained if housing policy is amended.

It is estimated that to keep up with the pace of population growth, 250,000 new homes are needed each year. Just over a third of those who took part in the survey feel that an annual target of 200,000 homes is possible, indicating that housebuilders won’t be able to meet these targets.

In addition to scepticism, the results also revealed the frustration with the housing policy as it stands as well as the suggested reforms.

One of the main complaints was the lack of detail that the policy document had, with four out five of the 70 respondents stating that the white paper did not go far enough to adequately address the problems in the market.

Most housebuilders feel that the system needs to be made simpler, an opinion held strongly by smaller firms. In the same vein, just under three-quarters of respondents stated that the planning system is negatively affecting levels of stock.

Commenting on the results of the survey was joint head of residential development at Knight Frank, Justin Gaze. He stated, “The policy environment is uncertain at present, but housing needs to remain a top priority.

“A simplification of the planning system has to be a goal. This would reduce costs and help housebuilders, especially SMEs, to build more housing.”

Whilst the majority of respondents don’t think that supply above 200,000 can be maintained, most have a positive outlook for the year ahead, predicting that the number of homes built during 2017 will continue to rise.


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