New home building in UK on target to reach a million by 2020 says industry

House building in the UK is on track to meet Government targets with the industry delivering the fastest increase in output ever recorded, according to a new report.

Overall supply is not above the levels seen in the 1950s and on track to exceed a million by 2020 as builders invest more money in the future and deliver better quality homes, says the report from the Home Builders Federation (HBF).

But the HBF us warning that complacency is a danger and the Government still needs to support progress and not give in to the Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) brigade.

With housing supply now above the levels recorded in the post war years and up 74% in four years, satisfaction scores released by the HBF show that build quality is improving and private sector builders is providing 50% of all affordable housing as part of community contributions of over £6 billion a year.

The report also reveals that tens of thousands of new employees are being recruited and trained and a record number of planning permissions being applied for as the industry gears up to deliver Government’s pledges to build 300,000 homes a year.

The industry believes that the Government should be recognising the progress being made by private sector house builders and working with them to positively position an industry that needs public support, and more recruits, to deliver Government targets.

‘The Government has quite rightly recognised the social and political need for them to address the chronic housing shortage we face. House builders have risen to the challenge and delivered huge increases in supply, whilst providing increasing contributions to local infrastructure, amenities and affordable housing,’ said Stewart Baseley, HBF executive chairman.

‘As the same time the industry has invested hugely in training, recruitment and land to ensure it is geared up to deliver Government promises. The industry has also reacted decisively to reverse the slight, but unacceptable falls in customer service and quality, something that takes commitment from board level down,’ he told the HBF policy conference.

‘The constant criticism of the industry often fails to recognise the huge progress being made. Negative perceptions also make further increases in supply more difficult by encouraging and providing excuses for the anti-development lobby and local authorities who don’t want to build,’ he explained.

‘It also makes attracting the brightest and best your people more difficult. House builders across the country face huge challenges getting sites agreed and recruiting skilled workers, issues made more difficult by negative perceptions of the industry,’ he added.

He told the conference that the big increases in supply seen in recent years are on the back of successful policy introductions and private sector investment. ‘We are calling on Government to continue to work with the industry constructively to deliver further mutually beneficial goals,’ said Baseley.