Permission for more than 360,000 new homes granted in the UK in year to October

Builders in the UK are continuing to invest in land as they look to deliver further increases in housing supply after over 360,000 permissions were granted in the 12 months to October 2018.

The latest housing pipeline report from the Home Builders Federation and Glenigan shows that overall permissions for 361,971 new homes were granted during the 12 month period.

Official figures released last month showed that net housing supply in England increased to 222,190 in the year to April, up an unprecedented 78% in the past five years.

This new report highlights the commitment of the industry to go further and deliver on the challenge laid down by Government to supply 300,000 homes a year. The report also shows that the number of sites the permissions are being granted on is continuing to rise.

The 361,971 permissions were on 21,848 different sites, the highest moving annual total since the series was started in 2006. It says that this suggests local authorities are spreading their housing need across more sites instead of relying on fewer larger ones.

Indeed this is something that the HBF pushed hard to be enforced through the planning system as it enables more SME builders to play their part in addressing our housing shortage.

The announcement of an extension to Help to Buy in October’s Budget will provide further confidence for the industry as it looks to push these permissions through the planning system.

It also points out that certainty of future demand is absolutely key for builders as they look to invest in these permissions, and get them to the point to where they are allowed to actually start building the homes.

Builders are also continuing to invest heavily in the people, supply chain and new technologies that will enable them to build out these permissions in the years ahead at a rate that will help achieve Government targets.

Concern of course remains as to the impact Brexit will have on the economy and the confidence of new home buyers, and in particular on continued access to skilled foreign workers and the industry continues to push Government for certainty.

‘The figures clearly show the commitment of the industry to delivering further increases in housing supply. The industry has delivered unprecedented increases in housing supply over recent years and is continuing to invest heavily in the land and people needed to go further,’ said Stewart Baseley, executive chairman at the HBF.

‘The recent confirmation of an extension to the Help to Buy scheme provides further certainty and confidence for builders in future demand. This is enabling them to invest in more sites, their supply chains and recruit and train more people, boosting local economies across the country,’ he explained.

‘The industry continues to push 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,’ he added.