Home Government policy Housebuilders delivered enough homes to exceed population growth in the last year

Housebuilders delivered enough homes to exceed population growth in the last year

Between 2018 and 2019, 203,900 new dwellings were completed across the UK. With the average property home to 2.4 people, that’s enough housing for some 483,243 people. During the same timeframe, the population is predicted to have grown by 395,321, meaning that not only have UK housebuilders kept pace with the increase, but have provided enough homes to house another 88,000 people. 

This oversupply was at its largest in England with enough homes built for an additional 43,000 people when compared to the increase in population, with enough for an additional 37,000 in Scotland, nearly 8,000 in Northern Ireland and just 200 in Wales. 

Regionally, the South East has seen the largest oversupply when comparing completed dwellings to the increase in population with enough properties built to house an additional 23,000 people. 

However, in the West Midlands, there was an undersupply of some 200 properties, while London was the only other region to see the population grow at a greater rate than the number of homes completed, needing an additional 37,000. 

On a more local level, Wiltshire, Manchester and Milton Keynes saw the greatest level of housing supply to meet their growing populations, with enough homes delivered to house well over 3,000 additional people each.

Westminster was home to the worst shortfall with an additional 10,000 homes required, along with Camden (8,500) and Tower Hamlets (5,400). 

Coventry was home to the biggest shortfall outside of London at just under 5,000 additional homes required. Sheffield, Wandsworth, Bristol, Birmingham, and Brighton also made the top 10.

The nation’s homebuilders have done a great job of late when it comes to the sheer volume of stock being delivered and when you compare the number of properties being completed in the last 12 months to the increase in population on a national level, this achievement becomes even more evident. 

However, this isn’t the case everywhere and the draw of living in London and other larger cities, coupled with a lack of space to build on, has seen some areas fall behind in terms of the new homes being built compared to the increase in population.

It’s important we keep out foot on the gas and keep meeting demand with new-build supply as not only do we need to build more houses in some areas based on the last year alone, but we were already starting on the back foot due to a poor performance in previous years. 

Of course, this underperformance can’t be placed solely at the doors of the industry’s developers, far from it. The real spanner in the works over recent years has been a lack of commitment by the government to actually let developers build, as well as a failure to free up land that has been wrongly designated as green belt and could serve a much better purpose meeting the appetite for homes across the UK property sector.

Primary level – nations
Location New Dwellings Completed (2018-19) Number of people that can be housed by new dwellings Estimated population change (2017-18 to 2018-19) New dwelling capacity vs population change – as number of people
England 169,020 400,577 357,748 42,829
Wales 5,780 13,699 13,466 233
Scotland 21,290 50,457 13,300 37,157
Northern Ireland 7,810 18,510 10,807 7,703
United Kingdom 203,900 483,243 395,321 87,922
Secondary level – regions
Location New Dwellings Completed (2018-19) Number of people that can be housed by new dwellings Estimated population change (2017-18 to 2018-19) New dwelling capacity vs population change – as number of people
East Midlands 15970 37,849 32,483 5,366
East of England 19230 45,575 32,782 12,793
London 19360 45,883 83,080 -37,197
North East 9050 21,449 13,182 8,267
North West 20130 47,708 33,466 14,242
South East 32060 75,982 52,800 23,182
South West 20300 48,111 40,419 7,692
West Midlands 16800 39,816 40,051 -235
Yorkshire and The Humber 14000 33,180 29,485 3,695
Rankings – by best new dwelling capacity vs population change (England and Wales)
Location New Dwellings Completed (2018-19) Number of people that can be housed by new dwellings Estimated population change (2017-18 to 2018-19) New dwelling capacity vs population change – as number of people
Wiltshire 2,400 5,688 2,021 3,667
Manchester 2,350 5,570 2,126 3,444
Milton Keynes 1,760 4,171 1,086 3,085
Northumberland 1,720 4,076 1,244 2,832
Croydon 1,270 3,010 509 2,501
Ealing 710 1,683 -754 2,437
Basingstoke and Deane 1,060 2,512 392 2,120
South Oxfordshire 1,110 2,631 737 1,894
City of Kingston upon Hull 720 1,706 -28 1,734
Southampton 910 2,157 437 1,720
Rankings – by worst new dwelling capacity vs population change (England and Wales)
Location New Dwellings Completed (2018-19) Number of people that can be housed by new dwellings Estimated population change (2017-18 to 2018-19) New dwelling capacity vs population change – as number of people
Westminster 210 498 10,528 -10,030
Camden 160 379 8,865 -8,486
Tower Hamlets 1,820 4,313 9,741 -5,428
Coventry 710 1,683 6,636 -4,953
Islington 370 877 4,142 -3,265
Sheffield 880 2,086 4,717 -2,631
Wandsworth 380 901 3,217 -2,316
Bristol 790 1,872 4,153 -2,281
Birmingham 910 2,157 4,251 -2,094
Brighton and Hove 130 308 2,240 -1,932
Sources
House building statistics
Live tables on house building: new build dwellings Gov
Housing: Property price, private rent and household survey and census statistics, used by government and other organisations for the creation and fulfilment of housing policy in the UK. ONS
House building: permanent dwellings started and completed by English region ONS
Population estimates
National and Local Authority Level Population Estimates Gov / ONS
Average household size
Families and Households ONS

 

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