Propertymark has criticised the government over poor house building figures.
New figures from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities show that the number of dwellings where building work started on site between April and June (the latest available data) was 42,900.
This was a five per cent decrease when compared to the previous quarter.
Meanwhile the number of dwellings was 43,660 in April to June 2021. This was a 10 per cent decrease when compared to the previous quarter.
Timothy Douglas, policy and campaigns manager at Propertymark, says: “The UK government’s latest figures on net additional dwellings paint a deeply worrying picture as industry data tells us that demand is far outstripping supply in both the sales and lettings markets meaning there could not be a worse time for housing delivery to plummet.
“Despite the steady upwards trajectory of new delivery since 2012-13, the UK government still had some way to go to deliver on their target of 300,000 new homes per year by the mid-2020s. Based on these statistics, it is looking extremely unlikely they will achieve this.
“Due to the impact of the materials shortage for the construction sector, this also highlights real concern for the UK government’s ability to meet its target.
“The Covid-19 pandemic’s legacy will have long lasting effects so the UK government must consider introducing drastic measures to not only deliver the right number of homes, but also the right types in the right places.
"More also needs to be done to bring the astonishing number of empty homes back into use. We know from the most recent figures that the total number of empty homes in England is more than double the UK government's annual housebuilding target.
"Looking ahead, we need to make best use of the stock we have and there must be a balance of new supply across all tenures in line with relative need and demand and affordability has to be a fundamental consideration."
The criticism comes on top of the recent revelation that a group of influential property experts has told the Prime Minister existing new-build targets are already "not fit for purpose.”
Sky News says the Building Back Britain Commission wrote to Boris Johnson to seek a reassessment of how housebuilding provision is planned across the country.
The group - which has David Thomas, the Barratt Developments chief executive, and Steve Wood, chief executive of the National House Building Council among its members - says the current assessment of future housing need was "based on current rather than future employment trends".