Industry leaders comment on government’s new housebuilding figures

In a week full of property and housing-related news, the government has just revealed the latest housebuilding figures.

It says there was an 8% increase in the number of new homes built in the 12 months to June 2019, with 173,660 new homes completed (an 11-year high).

Jamie Johnson, CEO, FJP Investment said:

“One might think it is good news that there’s been an 8% rise in the number of new homes being built across Britain. Yet regardless of the positive spin the government might try and put on these new figures, they are still well, well short of the number required – in fact, it’s approximately half the number that’s needed if we are to address the housing crisis.

“Importantly, not only do we need more homes to be constructed, but we also need to focus on the quality and attractiveness of new-builds. FJP Investment’s new research found that 63% of UK homebuyers are put off new-builds because they consider them to lack character, so both the government and property developers must make sure they consider how to build new homes that are desirable to potential buyers.”

Paresh Raja, CEO, Market Financial Solutions said:

“Things are heading in the right direction, but too slowly. I think there is actually a bigger issue at play, too; according to data from Land Registry, on average new-builds costs 29% more than existing properties. If we are looking to solve the housing crisis by building more homes, then we must ensure new-builds are more affordable.

“But that’s not all. I strongly believe the government must become more creative in its attempt to improve housing supply. We must find ways to convert or renovate derelict properties, such as run-down houses and empty commercial premises, to get them back onto the market, while also looking at ways to convert and build-on existing properties.”

Jerald Solis, Director, Experience Invest said:

“The number of new-builds being constructed may have soared to an 11-month high, but it is important to acknowledge that the current figure is still well below the number of properties needed to effectively address the housing crisis. The government has been particularly vocal this week, reaffirming its commitment to increase the country’s housing supply through changes to house planning regulations, as well as supporting the construction of new-builds. However, it is questionable whether it will ever be in a position to deliver 300,000 new homes by the mid-2020s as is its current target.

“I for one want to see the government working closer with construction companies and developers to ensure they are getting the support they need to build new properties in places where there is high demand for real estate. This means looking beyond the capital to places like Cardiff, Luton, Liverpool and Newcastle – places set to experience significant population growth over the coming years, and where demand is set to rise.”