• Kevin Murphy

UK: Is New Property Construction Finally Meeting Demand?

Over the years one of biggest concerns has been the lack of housing stock across the UK but could that be changing?

In the period between 2018 and 2019 203,900 new homes were completed across the UK with the average home having 2.4 people or 483,243 in total. This quantity of new homes exceeded population growth last year in research by Stone Real Estate and published by Property Reporter. It is estimated that the population increased by 395,321 indicating that home builders across the UK have met demand with enough homes to provide for another 88,000 people.

Britain had the largest oversupply with enough additional homes for 43,000 people when compared to the population increase with 37,000 additional residential properties, 8,000 for Northern Ireland and 200 in Wales.

The South East of England has the largest oversupply of completed homes to the increase of the local population with enough homes for 23,000 people.

An undersupply of homes of almost 200 homes could be found in the West Midlands when compared to London which due to population growth is in need of an additional 37,000 homes. Locally for locations including Manchester, Milton Keynes and Wiltshire had the highest level of completed homes for their growing populations with additional homes for almost 3,000 people.

As for the worst performing locations the biggest lack of homes was in Westminster which is in need of 10,000 homes, Camden Town in need of an additional 8,500 homes followed by Tower Hamlets at 5,400.

Outside the capital the report found that Coventry was in need of 5,000 new homes to meet local need.

Michael Stone, Founder and CEO of Stone Real Estate tells Property Reporter:

"We’ve seen a fantastic job done of late by the nation’s homebuilders when it comes to the sheer volume of stock being delivered and when you compare the number of properties being completed in the last 12 months to the increase in population on a national level, this achievement becomes even more evident."

"However, this isn’t the case everywhere and the draw of living in London and other larger cities, coupled with a lack of space to build on, has seen some areas fall behind in terms of the new homes being built compared to the increase in population."It’s important we keep out foot on the gas and keep meeting demand with new-build supply as not only do we need to build more houses in some areas based on the last year alone, but we were already starting on the back foot due to fewer homes being built in previous years."

"Of course, this underperformance can’t be placed solely at the doors of the industry’s developers, far from it. The real spanner in the works over recent years has been a lack of commitment by the government to actually let developers build, as well as a failure to free up land that has been wrongly designated as green belt and could serve a much better purpose meeting the appetite for homes across the UK property sector.”

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