New homes completed by developers in the year ending June 2019 rose by 8 per cent, to 173,660, the highest level seen in the same period in the last 11 years. However, the figures fall short of the government’s own target for housebuilding, according to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).
In March, the government used the Spring Statement to propose a target of 300,000 new homes to be built each year by the mid-2020s. Despite the rise in housebuilding in the past 12 months, the government is yet to reach this target.
The target was set to address the shortage of affordable homes in the UK, as part of the UK’s broader housing crisis.
More to be done
Housing secretary Robert Jenrick responded to the figures, saying: “We are moving in the right direction, but there is still much more to do if we’re going to deliver the numbers needed by communities up and down the country.”
The figures also showed that the number of family homes built had grown to a point where they made up 78 per cent of all new dwellings delivered in the market, the highest level seen since 2000.
Mr Jenrick added: “I’m determined to deliver homes that are high-quality, well-designed, and good for the planet. Faster and simpler planning regulations will help us reach that goal.”
Last week, the MHCLG unveiled a number of environmentally-friendly measures, to ensure the construction of more energy-efficient and low-carbon homes in the coming years.
Issues with new-builds
The new government figures come as FJP Investment, a provider of alternative property investments, released a report on some of the issues surrounding new-builds as they enter the housing market.
FJP Investment carried out a survey, with 50 per cent of respondents claiming new-builds were usually unattractive aesthetically. They added that 60 per cent of prospective buyers were often worried about whether new-builds were finished to a decent standard, as poor workmanship often leads to underlying issues.
The new research also found that 67 per cent of prospective buyers were critical of new-builds for being too expensive. FJP Investment remarked that new-builds were 29 per cent more expensive than the average prices for existing properties.
They also found that 57 per cent of prospective buyers were put off from buying new-builds if they were located in inconvenient locations.
Jamie Johnson, founder and CEO of FJP Investment, explained: “There is no denying the huge need for millions of new houses to be built across the UK. However, our research shows that we cannot fall into the trap of simply constructing properties of poor quality, in undesirable locations, or without also investing in local infrastructure.”
Mr Johnson concluded: “Homebuyers are clearly keen to consider new-builds for their next purchase, but only if we can ensure the houses and flats are finished to a very high standard.”