The UK Government has set a target of building 300,000 new homes per year by the mid-2020s, to meet growing population demands. However, according to the National House Building Council just 44,361 new homes were registered to be built in the UK in the three months to November, far short of the this target.
The proportion of new homes built in 2019 varied by region, as shown in the graph below. There was an increase of just 2% in the number of new homes registered to be built, year on year, with a higher increase in the West Midlands, London and East of England.
Here in the North West, the number of new homes registered has fallen by 28% compared to the previous 12 months.
In order to reach their targets, the Conservatives’ manifesto pledges included simplifying the planning system and introducing community-led design standards for development.
These measures may increase the quantity of new homes, but it is also important to ensure quality is not sacrificed for quantity. A housing design audit conducted by Place Alliance revealed 75% of new housing in England was considered ‘mediocre’ or ‘poor’.
Housebuilder share prices have risen on average by 8% since the election victory, but the Place Alliance audit argues that in order to improve design and standards, housebuilders need to prioritise the long-term well-being of customers and the environment, as well as being more ambitious in their approach.