Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Population growth still exceeding house building

Distracted by holidays, Leicester City winning the Premier League, the Brexit debate, spring cleaning, and tidying up the garden, as well as being busy at Maxim, Kentcentric has recently taken a backseat.

However, while we’re delighted to report business is good at Maxim, our batteries are now recharged, the grass is cut and with today the official meteorological first day of summer (although the view from the window suggests otherwise) – we’re back!

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest England’s population will rise by a further 4,079,700 over the next decade, with the South East accounting for nearly one fifth of the growth.

Only the population of London will rise more than the South East with a growth of 1,169,300 and 722,400 respectively. 

With London and the South East outstripping every other region in actual growth, there should now be a clarion call to Government arguing it is imperative we crank up the rate of house building.

Unfortunately this doesn’t appear to be happening, and in fact there’s been a recent slowdown.

Statistics released by the Department for Communities and Local Government show construction began on 139,680 homes in 2015/16 – one per cent up from the previous 12 months and the highest number of starts in a financial year this decade.

Private sector starts rose by four per cent to 116,760, but housing association starts were down nine per cent to 21,450 and council starts fell 22 per cent to 1,480.

Across all tenures, completions rose 12 per cent to 139,690 homes in the year to 31 March 2016, according to the figures.

Worryingly, the data also showed both completions and starts dipped in the first quarter of this year.

Housing starts were down 3 per cent to a seasonally adjusted 35,530 in the three months to 31 March, while completions were down 9 per cent to 32,950 on the same basis.

Answers on what should be done to Kentcentric please.

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