Builders say it is impossible to build 200,000 homes a year

Housebuilders believe it is impossible to build the 200,000 new homes the UK needs each year, with two-thirds thinking the maximum that could be built is 180,000 a year.

A survey of over 160 housebuilders conducted by estate agents Knight Frank shows just 9 per cent believe it is possible to build more than 200,000 homes a year.

The Conservatives have not publicly stated a housebuilding target, but Labour, the Liberal Democrats and Ukip have all pledged to build at least 200,000 new homes a year.

Knight Frank also asked housebuilders what measures policymakers should take to increase the number of homes built each year.

Putting more resources into local planning departments topped the list, at 82 per cent, followed by improving skills and training in the industry, at 58 per cent, and opening up access to public land, at 57 per cent. 

Knight Frank head of UK residential research Grainne Gilmore says: “In the run-up to the election, all political parties agree that the delivery of more new homes is a priority. Yet more than two-thirds of housebuilders believe that under current market conditions, the maximum number of units that can be sustainably delivered each and every year is 180,000 or less.

“Policymakers, especially those in power after the election, may want to heed the calls from housebuilders to beef up planning departments in local authorities, plough more investment into skills and training in the construction sector and provide better access to public sector land, moves which the housebuilding industry is signalling could move the country closer to building enough homes for all.”

What steps can the Government take to help boost housing delivery in the long-term?
What steps can the Government take to help boost housing delivery in the long-term?

Provide additional resources in local authority planning departments


Improve skills training for the industry


Improve access to public sector land


Loosen rules around development on green belt land


Scrap/review community infrastructure levy (CIL)


Ease time frames for, or amend, environmental requirements


Improve access to development funding


Further expand Help to Buy equity loan (beyond 2020/additional funding)


Garden cities


Move back to a more regional approach to planning