How many homes?

Research published by the CPRE

This independent paper provides a summary of the number of new homes needed to meet current and future housing need for England.

HERE IS THE FULL REPORT

The Government currently has a policy objective to increase housing delivery in England to 300,000 homes annually on average by the mid -2020s. This follows from the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs report “Building more homes” (July 2016) which took evidence from a range of interested parties, and concluded that the Government’s target of one million new homes by 2020 is not based on a robust analysis. To address the housing crisis at least 300,000 new homes are needed annually for the foreseeable future.

Despite concluding that the Government’s previous target of one million new homes by 2020 not being based on a robust analysis, the Select Committee report did not itself set out an evidence base for the target of “300,000 new homes”, noting that “witnesses variously estimated that between 200,000 and 300,000 homes are required today”.

The House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts report “Planning and the  broken housing market” (June 2019) recognised that “meeting the target of 300,000 new homes a year will need a significant step-up in the level of house building” and that the Government “simply does not have the mechanisms in place to achieve the 300,000 targets … compounded by lack of detailed rationale as to why the target was chosen in the first place”.

The Public Accounts Committee report continued: “to make this even more concerning, the target does not align with the Department’s new method for calculating the need for new homes which shows that just 265,000 new homes a year are needed”. Furthermore, following updates to the official household projections for England, the Government has recognised that “lower projections of household growth result in the national minimum annual housing need calculated using the standard method falling significantly; from approximately 269,000 homes prior to the publication of the updated household projections, to approximately 213,000 based on the updated data.

SUMMARY OF KEY POINTS

  • The Government has committed to a target of delivering 300,000 new homes a  year in England
  • There is a lock of detailed rationale as to why the target was chosen
  • Witnesses to the Economic Affairs Select Committee variously estimated that between 200,000 and 265,000 homes were required, based on information available in 2016
  • The target does not align with the Government’s new method for calculating housing need – this gives o figure of 265,000 new homes per annum
  • Updated household projections from ONS identify lower levels of household growth, which would reduce housing need to around 213,000 new homes a year using the Government’s calculation
  • Meeting this target will need a significant step-up in the level of house building

HERE IS THE FULL REPORT

Opinion Research Services (ORS) is a social research consultancy that has built up extensive experience of assessing housing need over many years. Our approach is evidence-based, and our assessments have routinely provided a sound basis for Planning policy.

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