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According to the latest Housing Pipeline Report from the Home Builders Federation (HBF) and Glenigan, the number of planning permissions granted in the year to June 2017 is the highest seen annually since the Report began in 2006.
Planning permission for 321,982 new homes was granted during the 12-month period, driven, according to the Report, by strong demand for new homes from the Help to Buy scheme. It added that more than 200,000 people – mostly first time buyers – now live in a new build home thanks to Help to Buy.
Another HBF report, Stepping Up, also looks at the impact Help to Buy has had on the housing market. It shows that the scheme now accounts for one in 12 of all households owning their first home and this demand is driving industry confidence to invest in new sites with housing supply up by 50% since the scheme’s introduction in 2013.
The Report does express concern that the number of sites on which permissions were granted was continuing to drop. This suggests that bigger sites are being favoured and the Report recommends that local authorities allocate an increased number of smaller sites, particularly to aid smaller housebuilders and to “lead to increases in both the number of homes being built and industry capacity”.
Stewart Baseley, HBF’s executive chairman, said:
“These record planning permission figures are a clear indication that housebuilders are committed to increasing housing output. We’ve seen 50% growth in output over the last three years and these figures indicate that progress can continue.
“The Help to Buy scheme hasn’t just helped 200,000 people buy a home; it has helped them to buy a new build home which is, in turn, boosting supply and generating huge benefits for communities, councils and the Exchequer.”
Glenigan’s Economics Director, Allan Wilen, commented,
“The residential development pipeline continues to strengthen. The number of new homes securing planning approval during the first half of 2017 was 22% up on a year ago. The increased supply of sites available for development demonstrates housebuilders’ confidence about market prospects with the industry well placed to meet the demand for new homes.”
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