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Government ‘capitulation to NIMBYS’ pushing property supply to record lows - warning

The net housing supply in England could be set to fall to decade lows, builders have warned.

New analysis by the Home Builders Federation (HBF), based on data from Glenigan, suggests the number of planning permissions being granted across England for new build houses continued to fall sharply during the second quarter of the year.

At 2,456, the number of projects granted planning permission was the lowest reading in the HBF’s Housing Pipeline Report since it began in 2006. 


This number is 10% lower than the previous quarter and 20% lower annually.

Approval was granted for 62,681 homes during the second quarter, dropping 16% on the previous quarter and 13% as compared to the same period a year ago. Other than the quarter affected by Covid-19, Q2 2020, this is the fewest permissioned homes in a quarter since 2015.

New homes and new sites permissioned during the first half of 2023 were 19% down on the equivalent period in 2022, the HBF said.

If this translates directly to completions, it will lead to a reduction in housing delivery of 44,000 homes per year which would see net housing supply for England fall to levels not seen for a decade.

The HBF warned earlier this year that if unaddressed, the Government’s anti-development approach to planning and nutrient neutrality could see housing supply halve to around 120,000 homes a year. The latest figures in its Housing Pipeline report prove this scenario to be increasingly likely, the HBF said.

Meanwhile, the HBF highlights that first-time buyers are struggling to access the mortgage market, a situation made worse by the lack of a support scheme for new build buyers.
Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman of the Home Builders Federation says: ““Over recent years the policy environment has become increasingly anti-development and anti-business and as a direct result we are seeing a sharp fall in the number of homes being built.

"The Government’s capitulation to the NIMBY lobby on planning, its mishandling of water legislation and amidst a lack of mortgage availability the lack of support for first time buyers could see housing supply drop markedly in the coming years. Fewer homes being built amidst an acute housing crisis has clear social implications, in particular for young people, and will reduce economic activity and cost jobs.”

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    The main political parties pay lip service to boosting house building, but when in government fail to deliver the number of new properties needed (both to accommodate a rising population and to replace the decrepit state of a considerable part of the existing housing stock). I can't see this situation changing within our democratic framework because there are too many competing interests at loggerheads with each other. This augurs well for property prices long-term, but the next few years will be tricky for homeowners - and agents.


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