Property 

Tory election pledges mean just 9,000 more homes

Tory election pledges mean just 9,000 more homes

A pledge by the Conservative Party to boost housing supply would result in just 9,000 extra homes a year, it has been claimed.

The Tories’ commitment to build a million homes between April 2015 and the end of 2020 is the equivalent of 175,000 a year – just 9,000 a year more than the current 10-year average rate of growth, according to property investment marketplace Property Partner.

Meanwhile, Labour’s pledge to build a million homes by the end of 2022 - 200,000 a year - would also lead to the housing surplus in England shrinking by the end of the next Parliament.

In 2017, the UK’s housing surplus is set to be 1.9 per cent, or 434,744 homes – but the analysis shows this will fall to 346,977, or 1.4 per cent, by the end of 2022.

Based on ONS projected household growth and the current rate of housebuilding, England is predicted to face a housing shortfall beginning in 2025 with an initial deficit of 877 homes, with the situation set to worsen in the following years.

London currently has a shortfall of 3.8 per cent, and this is predicted to reach 7.3 per cent, or 288,623 homes, by 2022 - even with the Labour and Tory manifesto pledges factored in.

The Lib Dems have pledged to be building 300,000 homes a year by 2022 but have not revealed their plans for the intervening years.

Mark Weedon, head of research at Property Partner, said: “The housing market is broken, there are not enough homes and despite both of the UK’s major parties’ stated ambitions to tackle the housing crisis, their manifesto plans fall short given the scale of the problem. 

“London’s chronic imbalance of supply and demand is not being addressed, and by 2025 the housing shortage will have spread across England. This represents one of the biggest threats to family life and consumer spending in this country.

“It’s high time politicians realised nothing short of a step change in housebuilding will ever get close to delivering the homes required to meet our growing population.”

Matthew Arena, managing director at mortgage distribution firm Brilliant Group, said the housing market in the UK is beset by structural and political problems.

He explained: “The developers are not incentivised to develop houses in the time that the country needs them because it creates oversupply, and that affects their return on investment. So developers are not geared up for large-scale housing development.

“When the incentives are wrong, you need the government to do something about those incentives, but the government is not doing that. If you don’t address this, the problem is not going to go away.”

simon.allin@ft.com 

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