Britain building again as new homes rise by a quarter

// HA News

The number of new homes in England has risen by 25% over the past year – the highest annual percentage increase in 28 years, new figures released last week show.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark said it was further proof of the government’s commitment to get more homes built with 170,690 new homes last year and more than 700,000 additional homes delivered since 2010.

There has been a significant increase in the amount of new homes delivered by converting buildings into residential properties. More than 20,600 of these homes were built in 2014 to 2015 - a rise of 65% on the year before.

It comes just weeks after the government announced it would extend permitted development rights that enable offices to be converted into new homes without having to submit a planning application.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark said “As a one nation government we’re determined to make sure everyone has the opportunity and security of owning a home of their own.”

“Today’s figures show a 25% increase in the number of new homes over the past year – showing our reforms are building new homes across Britain.”

“We are going further and will do everything we can to help families buy a place of their own. Government support like Help to Buy and our plans to build 200,000 new Starter Homes will help anyone who aspires to own their own home the chance of making their dream a reality.”

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said “We’ve brought the housebuilding industry back from the brink, giving them the tools they need to get on with the job and build the homes hard-working people need.”

“That includes making it easier for developers to turn underused buildings into new homes with today’s figures showing a 65% increase in these kinds of developments over the past year.”

“Today’s figures represent the highest annual percentage increase in net additional homes for 28 years. The vast majority of the homes delivered in the past 12 months have been new builds.”

The government’s planning reforms and launch of the National Planning Policy Framework in April 2012 is delivering record numbers of permissions. It means that since 2010 the government has delivered a net increase of 704,310 additional homes across England.

Figures released today also show that the number of Right to Buy sales are up by 5% on last year.

The government recently announced a historic agreement to extend the scheme to 1.3 million housing association tenants, giving them the same home ownership opportunities as council tenants, with every property sold replaced with an additional new affordable home.

The government is currently moving ahead with its landmark Housing and Planning Bill, which will give an extra million people the chance to achieve their dream of home ownership.

Measures include:

  • new affordable Starter Homes – a new legal duty will be placed on councils to guarantee the delivery of Starter Homes on all reasonably sized new development sites, and to promote the delivery of Starter Homes in their area
  • permission in principle for sites identified in plans and brownfield registers – to give certainty around the sites that are suitable for housing, while protecting the green belt
  • planning reforms to support small builders – requiring councils to ensure they have permission shovel ready plots to match the local demand for custom build
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