House building in England is at its highest level in 10 years, according to figures from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
The DCLG reported that the building of 162,880 houses had commenced in 2016/17, with 147,960 completed. These both represent record highs since the 2008 financial crisis, which resulted in the construction industry shrinking significantly.
However, experts are warning that house building is still falling well short of the required levels to keep pace with the rising demand, fuelled by an increase in the UK’s population.
Anne Baxendale, of the housing charity Shelter, said: “While it’s certainly positive to see a rise in house building, we should be under no illusion that these figures are still pitifully low.
“Even with this slight lift, we’re still falling well short of the 250,000 homes a year we need to ease the burden of the housing crisis.”
It was highlighted by the Mortgage Advice Bureau that the Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme’s 2021 deadline may well be putting developers off purchasing land to build upon.
Back in the early 1970s in England, more than 300,000 homes were constructed annually, significantly more than now.
House building is high on the agenda for all of the major political parties ahead of the general election.
Labour has promised to build one million new homes – including 100,000 council houses each year – while the Tories have pledged to construct 1.5 million homes by 2022. Meanwhile, the Lib Dems have said they will have at least 300,000 new homes built each year by 2022.