Shapps: housing supply will not meet demand
Housing minister Grant Shapps has admitted developers will struggle to build the number of homes needed in England.
In a video on financial newswire Bloomberg Mr Shapps said: ‘I think it’s true to say that we should be building many more homes in this country than we do…
‘We are starting to move in the right direction, but there isn’t one thing that you can do to solve this.
‘If, in the really best possible imaginable circumstances in the boom in the housing market we were still only building 170,000 [homes] – still well shy – and today we are facing an incredibly tough global economy, the Eurozone crisis, problems with mortgages and household incomes. If you couldn’t do it then, it’s even harder now.’
Government figures show new households are forming at a rate of around 245,000 a year, but the latest Communities and Local Government department figures show housing starts are falling. The figures for England were down 11 per cent in the first quarter of this year compared with the last quarter of 2012, reaching 24,140 homes.
When the figures were released earlier this month Mr Shapps tweeted: ‘New house building figures show housing starts in 2011 were up 29 per cent on 2009.’
The minister told councils and housing associations in February that building new homes was central to improving the country’s economy.