‘Action needed to get construction industry building’

The Government’s target of three million new homes by 2020, an already increasingly challenging figure because of the current industry climate, was based on previous household projections. With new figures showing that the number of households in England is projected to grow to 27.8 million by 2031, an increase of 6.3 million on the 2006 estimate, the possibility of a major housing shortfall in the future – with the corresponding house price and social implications – are stark.

The need for Government action to tackle the major causes of the current supply constraint has never been clearer. If it is to avoid significant problems in the future, and a further loss of house building industry capacity, the Government must act as a matter of urgency.

It should:

Use the influence it now has in the banking sector to ensure some sensible levels of mortgage lending return – the key issue affecting supply. Builders cannot build homes if people are unable to get a mortgage and so meet their aspiration to buy;

Look to use public money in a range of innovative ways to kick-start housing sites of all types.

HBF Executive Chairman Stewart Baseley said: "Today’s figures are a stark warning of the need to get builders building again. Housing supply is being strangled by the lack of mortgage availability at the very time we should be increasing output.

"The Government needs to act now, otherwise further jobs and industry capacity will be lost – and let us be clear there is no one else apart from the private house building industry going to build these desperately needed homes."

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