Planning permission granted for more than 350,000 new homes

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Planning permission
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Planning permission was granted for more than 350,000 new homes across 20,076 sites in the year up to June 2018

Planning permissions are a strong indicator of future housing supply, and according to Home Builders Federation (HBF)/Glenigan’s latest Housing Pipeline report, they are being granted at record levels. Permission for more than 350,000 new homes was granted in the year to June, as housebuilders continue to invest.

The Housing Pipeline report shows that for the year up to June 2018, the picture was very positive with 354,646 plots granted planning permission on 20,076 sites. This is the first time for a decade that more than 20,000 sites have been granted planning permission in a 12-month period.

Over the course of the past 10 years, the average permissioned site has increased in size by 58% from 19 units to 30. These figures reflect the first fall in average site size for annualised planning permissions for almost five years (Q4 2013).

Despite the growth, the report by the HBF and Glenigan revealed that permissions for 77,704 homes were granted in Q2 2018 in England, down by 15% compared with Q2 2017.

The research suggests that the fall may be a result of uncertainty over the future of Help to Buy post-March 2021.

The report also identifies some significant regional variations. Approvals were down on the same quarter last year in some areas including London, but in contrast, approvals were up in Wales (25%), Yorkshire and Humber (23%), South West (11%) against a year earlier.

The number of applications being submitted and approved demonstrates the house building industry’s commitment to building more homes, and the confidence it has in the new homes market. Whilst the wider second-hand housing market has weakened, new build sales have remained strong, according to the report.

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman at HBF said: “We have seen a 74% increase in housing supply in four years, and the report shows the commitment of the industry to delivering further increases.

“The fact that permissions are now running at over 350,000 a year shows that builders are investing in the land, and people needed to deliver more homes.

“If we are to get to 300,000 homes a year, we need to see consistently high levels of permissions being granted, and then crucially, processed efficiently. We also need to see the new planning system implemented by Local Authorities as intended and more sites, of all sizes, coming forward. Providing certainty over the future of the Help to Buy scheme, that has been central to the increases in output we have seen, is also key.”

Glenigan’s Economics Director, Allan Wilen, added: “The residential development pipeline remains strong, despite a second quarter dip in residential unit approvals from the historically high levels seen over the last year.

“Indeed, the number of projects securing approval was up 17% on a year ago as permission was granted for more smaller sites.”

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