Can the government meet its target of 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s?
The target was announced to some scepticism in the 2017 Budget and a report just out from the National Audit Office(NAO) says with some understatement that it will be “challenging to meet”.
In detail, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s (MHCLG) commitment is to “support the delivery of a million homes by the end of 2020 and half a million more by the end of 2022 and put us on track to deliver 300,000 net additional homes a year on average”.
That means net additional homes, so it includes conversions and change of use (less demolitions) as well as new building.
Statistics showing a 78% increase in homes on this measure since the low point of 2012/13 (from 125,000 to 222,000) certainly suggest that it is possible.
However, recovery from the credit crunch is one thing, an increase from more normal times quite another, and the annual increase slowed to just 2% in 2017/18.
As the NAO points out, the average achieved between 2005/06 and 2017/18 was 177,000 a year and the most was 224,000 at the peak of the last boom in 2007/08.