Housing shortage set to spread across the South of England, it is claimed

By 2018 the South of England will face a combined shortfall of at least 160,000 homes because local planning authorities are not planning enough new homes, according to a new report.

In the report, Planning: Countdown to the Election, international real estate adviser Savills planning team has examined locally planned targets across the South East, South West and East of England.

Their analysis found that these regions will be short of 91,323 homes when targets are compared to need. Furthermore, this number does not take into account the additional demand that will continue to spill out from London.

The difference between house prices in London and the South East is now higher than it has ever been and this is expected to translate into increased demand overflowing into the Home Counties and to locations as far afield as Cambridge, Brighton, Reading and Oxford.
Savills has identified key migratory hotspots around London and concludes that the majority are already facing their own local housing shortfalls.  The firm is calling for local planning authorities to form an ‘arc of cooperation’ around London, working towards solutions that look beyond individual local authority boundaries to maximise housing delivery.
‘Local planning authorities need to act with urgency and in cooperation with neighbouring authorities to plan for the scale of housing delivery now needed right across the South of England,’ said Savills planning director, David Jackson.

‘Currently planned targets fall well below the projected need, without accounting for the issues of years of undersupply at a local level. Add to this the projected flows of demand from London and there is a real crisis looming,’ he added.
England currently needs 240,000 new homes a year according to Town and Country Planning Association estimates, other estimates are higher. Translating this national figure down to the local level, Savills has identified particular hotspots where planned levels of housing are well below levels of need.

For example, the annual shortfall peaks in Brighton and Hove at over 700 homes, followed by Luton at over 500, Epping Forest around 400 and Elmbridge at over 350 each year. 

Authorities within the more affordable, lower demand areas to the east of London such as Thurrock, Dartford, and Gravesham, are amongst the few planning to deliver relatively high levels of new homes.  Conversely, in Surrey, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, where there is higher demand from Londoners, housing targets are well below the rate required.  
‘We need to plan larger scale developments as a matter of urgency to meet local need and anticipated London overspill. Without this we face a growing housing shortfall, with affordability an inevitable consequence,’ said Savills planning director, Jonathan Steel
‘The Chancellor’s recent commitment to a new garden city in Ebbsfleet, with an initial 15,000 new homes is welcome, but it is a drop in the ocean, the equivalent of just four months’ requirement for housing in London.  New towns or Garden cities alone are not therefore a panacea,’ he explained.

‘A long term commitment is required by government and other agencies to unblock infrastructure and other constraints to ensure that rates of house building achieve a sustained and substantial increase,’ he added.