Government missed new homes target by 120,000 in 2021

The Government has continued with its woeful efforts where new-build delivery is concerned, missing its latest target in 2021 by -39% - a shortfall of almost 120,000 homes, according to the latest research from Unlatch.

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Property Reporter
7th June 2022
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The new-build sales optimisation platform, analysed data on the number of new home completions seen across the UK in each year and how they stack up when compared to the Government’s own targets.

In 2007, Labour set themselves the ambitious target of building 240,000 homes a year. That year would be the closest they came, with 215,862 new homes completed.

Their worst effort came in 2012-13, when just 133,056 new builds reached the market and, while this has been steadily increasing ever since they managed just 169,274 in 2015-2016 and 178,007 in 2016-2017 - 25% fewer than the target set some decade ago.

Then came the turn of the Conservatives, who saw Labour's failure and raised them an additional 60,000 homes a year, promising to reach this 300,000 annual target by mid-2020.

Despite the impending pandemic, a respectable 210,719 new homes were completed across the UK in 2019-20, the second-highest level seen since 2007-08 but still 30% off the pace, missing the 300,000 target by almost 90,000 homes.

However, the latest data shows that the Government’s failure to reach its targets hit a high in 2021. 181,810 new homes were completed across the UK, 40% below their target of 300,000 new homes and a shortfall of 118,190 - the highest number since 2007.

Lee Martin, Head of UK for Unlatch, says: “The complications posed by the recent pandemic will no doubt provide the Government with a convenient excuse to mask yet another year of failure when it comes to the delivery of new homes.

"But the reality is that this failure is not a recent occurrence, and both the Labour and Conservative parties have failed to seriously honour their responsibility to build more homes for going on 15 years now.

"This is no doubt due to their archaic, lethargic approach to housebuilding and a failure to adopt the evolving technologies and practices that are helping many housebuilders to streamline their internal process and deliver more homes, without compromising on quality or revenue.

"The planning system has a huge part to play, as this seems to be the biggest (but not the only)‘road block’. The current Government has diagnosed the planning system as central to the failure to build enough homes, particularly where housing need is at its most severe. There’s a continued focus on supporting private sector delivery, however, this is surely down to them to solve with many of the largest national housebuilders willing to give feedback, yet currently, the revamp is still paused."

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