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Sun February 28 2021

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House-builders step up build rate but doubts remain that target can be met

26 Feb 19 More than half of house-builders increased the rate at which they built new homes over the last year and predict a further rise over the next 12 months, according to a new survey.

Despite this, fewer than half of house-builders think the government target of building 300,000 homes a year on average by the mid-2020s is achievable. 

The survey of more than 400 housebuilding companies in England was carried out for construction consultant McBains.

57% of respondents reported they had increased their rate of housebuilding over the last 12 months. Overall, housebuilders said they had built, on average, 201 homes over the last year.  This was expected to rise to 297 over the next 12 months. 

However, respondents to the survey cited worries over land availability, slow planning permission and skills shortages as barriers to preventing them building more homes. 

Around half of respondents (48%) said these factors would also make it difficult for the government to meet its target of building 300,000 homes a year on average by the mid-2020s.

Of the 11% of respondents that had decreased their build rate over the past year,  the most commonly-cited reasons were: not enough available or appropriate land (34%  – and 44% in London); planning permission taking too long (34% – and 67% in London); and not enough skilled labour (34%). 

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