Posted by: Jules Birch25/02/2010
It’s not exactly news to say that the government is falling behind its housebuilding targets but now it’s official.
Attention so far has focussed on the figures for housing completions and the way that the 2009 total for England of 118,000 recorded by Communities and Local Government (CLG) was half the target of 240,000 a year.
However, the targets of 2m by 2016 and 3m by 2020 are more complicated than that and are actually for ‘net additional homes’ rather than just completions. They include conversions and changes of use (minus demolitions) as well as new homes. The figure for new home completions used in the net supply figures is also significantly higher than the one in the housebuilding statistics because it also includes approvals by approved independent inspectors and because the data collection period is longer.
This time last year those differences enabled ministers to claim that they were on track to meet the targets. Total net additional homes provided in 2007/08 were 207,400 (compared to a CLG completions total of 167,620).
However, the 2008/09 figures for net additional homes put an end to six years to growth. Total net supply fell 20% to 166,600 in 2008/09 (33,000 more than the CLG completions total).
Given the continuing fall in completions in the rest of 2009 that total is almost certain to fall further in 2009/10, leaving those targets for 2016 and 2020 vanishing into the distance.
Net additional supply fell in eight out of nine regions last year, with only London seeing an increase. However, half of the total net new supply of 28,300 homes in the capital came from just nine of the 33 boroughs.
From Inside edge
Housing commentator Jules Birch puts the latest news in context