After years of surveys suggesting the UK’s new-build homes were getting smaller, and may even be the smallest in much of Europe, a new report suggest the trend is now moving in the opposite direction.
The Home Builders Federation’s report, entitled Goodness Spacious Me, finds that the number of bedrooms built increased from 385,000 in 2008/09 to 478,000 in 2015/16.
This, says the report, was largely as a result of the shift to building more family homes.
Over the same period the percentage of flats built dropped from 50 per cent of the new homes in 2008/9 to just 25 per cent - reflecting the difficulties faced by single and younger buyers during that period - whilst the number of houses increased from 80,000 to 120,000 over the same seven year spell.
The average size of a new build homes increased by nearly 15 per cent from an estimated 801 square feet to 918 square feet.
HBF says that the report underlines how housing supply has rebounded since the financial crash of 2008/09 that saw many housebuilders disappear and others shedding up to 50 per cent of their staff.
“As a result of a more positive economic and policy environment the industry has rapidly increased the number and type of homes it has built to better match demand,” says the federation. This optimistic note echoes a comment over the holiday period by John Tutte, chief executive of Redrow: as we reported last week, he forecasts that the UK will see over 200,000 homes constructed in 2017, the highest figure for almost a decade.
Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation, says the report shows that the new home challenge is not reduced merely to numbers.
“We have an acute housing crisis that can only be solved by building more of the right homes in the right places. Government policy has allowed the industry to focus on responding to the needs of buyers in this regard and, as a result, the industry has delivered huge increases in supply over the last three years” he says.
“The industry is planning to deliver further increases in output. By addressing the entrenched problems with planning and developing further positive policies to promote development the government can help maintain this momentum” he adds.