Initial planning permission for 255,032 new homes was granted in England in 2015, according to the latest Housing Pipeline report from the Home Builders Federation (HBF) and research firm Glenigan. This is up 57% from a low point of 162,204 in 2009.
Permissions granted in Q4 2015 were up 13% compared to Q4 2014, reaching 74,759.
Approximately 180,000 new homes were added to the housing stock in 2014/15 – up 22% on the previous year. The planning permissions report indicates a further increase in output can be expected.
Glenigan economics director Allan Wilén said: “The strong rise in planning approvals during the closing months of 2015, driven by an increase in the number of private housing units approved, bodes well for housebuilding activity during the current year. The expanded development pipeline will help housebuilders to meet any strengthening in demand from house buyers. Furthermore the rise marked rise in approvals in the Midlands and North of England last year demonstrates that the recovery in housing market activity is becoming more established across the country.”
HBF chairman Stewart Baseley said: “The number of planning applications now being submitted demonstrates the commitment of the industry to deliver further increases in housing supply. The past two years have seen huge increases in house building levels, with housing supply in England surpassing 180,000 homes per year in 2014-15, up 22% on the previous year. Whilst the increase in the number of permissions is welcome – and a strong indicator of future supply – many still have to navigate the complexities of the planning system. This is a further sign that house builders continue to step up investment in future housing supply but we need to see these permissions being processed to the stage where we can get onto site and start building more quickly and really start to meet demand for housing.”
The Housing Pipeline report now shows permissions granted on all sites. Previous versions did not include numbers for sites of fewer than 10 units. All historic figures have been adjusted to reflect the change in methodology.