The 2018 net housing supply figures have been released. They show a positive and steady picture for housing. Albeit one that falls substantially short of the outturn that we were looking for if the 300,000 homes figure is to be achieved in the shorter term.
A strong performance from today's figures in new housebuilding, which rose to over 195,000 new homes. A marked uplift from 2017, but, a decade on, still below the 200,000 high water mark for new homes of 2007/08. We had been looking for that figure to be exceeded this year. Especially given the huge boost in new housebuilding seen in the Government's figures for new housebuilding in September 2018, that showed an increase of more than 20,000 completed new homes over the previous year.
Notable also was the fall in 'office to resi' conversions. Down over 6,000 homes from last year's figures.
How do this year's figures sit against housing expectations?
'steady as she goes' for this year's net supply figures- more modest growth than we were looking for, but still comfortably north of 200,000 new homes a year.
The Conservative government's 2017 manifesto commitments of 1 million homes between 2015 and 2020 and 1.5 million extra homes by 2022 look within reach based on current performance. That will require the same type of steady performance of between 210,000 and 225,000 homes for each of the next four years and a further year on year increase in the contribution of new housebuilding as against changes of use. Given uncertainties over Brexit, macroeconomic indicators, affordability and skills, there are undoutedly challenges that will need to met over that period.