Housebuilders are continuing to invest in land and are getting new sites approved despite the wider political and economic uncertainty, shows a report by the Home Builders Federation (HBF) and Glenigan.

370,000 new homes received planning permission in 2018, the second highest annual total on record and over double the number being granted a decade ago.

Housing supply is up 78% in the past five years with 222,000 homes added to the housing stock last year. Despite the increase, the total is still well below the number of homes the country needs to build. To address the shortfall, the government has set the industry a target of building 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s. Local authorities are taking too long to process permissions to the point where builders can actually start on site. The industry is keen to work with central and local government to ensure that local authority planning departments have sufficient resources to deal with the increased number of applications being submitted.

Executive chairman at HBF, Stewart Baseley, said “The industry is investing massively in people and land to ensure it can meet the challenge set by government to deliver even more, high-quality homes”.

“Last year saw output continue to increase alongside improved customer satisfaction levels. Builders are acutely focused on delivering further improvements in quality and service levels alongside investing in more land to enable further increase in supply”.

“The industry continues to work with central and local government to ensure local planning departments have the capacity to deal effectively with the increased number of applications. It is also pushing government for confirmation that it will have ongoing access to skilled labour from abroad post-Brexit, which will be key to its ability to build out these sites”.

8 May 2019